True crime and trial opinions from a layman's perspective
Court resumes after a two week break and Johan Stander is first up on the stand. He is examined by Oldwage for the Defense.
Mr. Stander’s address in the Silverwoods Estates is 212 Summerbrooke. He has lived there since May 2009, and has known Oscar since that time.
His stated that his home is about 350-400 meters away from Oscar’s, however in later testimony it was determined that it is actually 212 meters away. It’s only a one minute drive by car.
Mr. Stander testifies that after the incident, he was approached by SAPS to give a statement. Hilton Botha went to his house on Feb 15, and took his information. Stander wrote the statement on his own without counsel. He was requested to furnish an additional statement by Capt Van Aardt. For this second statement, he did have counsel with him which was arranged by his daughter, Carice, who is also a lawyer.
Oldwage asks if there were any additional meetings with the State after he gave his formal statements. Mr. Stander testifies that both he and his daughter did meet with the State at his house in December of 2013. He did regard himself as a State witness as he had been informed that he was going to be called by them. Oldwage asks him if he knows why the State did not call him. He answers that there was a second consultation arranged with both he and his daughter in January 2014, and at that time one of the advocates who arrived prior to the State indicated that Nel had decided not to call him. He believes her name was Ms. Johnson. He goes on to say that she told them that the State had decided to only call one person per family; therefore he took that to mean that they would be calling Carice.
Mr. Stander states that around 3am on February 14, he was home asleep in bed. Oldwage wants to know if Stander had ever been in Oscar’s home. He says yes, he had been there before to look after his dogs when Oscar traveled overseas.
At about 3:19am on February 14, Mr. Stander received a call from Oscar. He said to him, “Johan, please, please, please come to my house. I shot Reeva. I thought she was an intruder. Please, please come quickly.”
He got up, and his wife woke up as well. As he was walking out of his room, Carice was walking out of her room and she said that she just heard somebody scream. His wife then told Carice that her father had just received a call from Oscar saying that he shot Reeva.
Both Johan and Carice decided to go to Oscar’s house as quickly as possible. Carice was driving. She parked the car in the street and they rushed to the front door; Carice walking in front. The door was slightly open and there was a light on. Carice pushed the door open and they saw Oscar coming down the stairs with Reeva in his arms.
Mr. Stander could see that she had a head wound. When Oscar saw them, there was relief on his face. When he reached the bottom of the stairs, Carice asked him to put Reeva down. Oscar was really crying; he was in pain. He asked them to please assist him; put Reeva in a car and take her to the hospital. Mr. Stander starts crying during his testimony.
My opinion is that Oscar could not get Reeva out of his house fast enough. He shot her. He knew that he just put 4 bullets in to her. He saw her lifeless body in the bathroom. Not to be overly blunt, but she had brain matter in her hair. She was not going to live and the only thing he needed to do was distance himself from this situation as quickly as possible.
He rushed to get her out of the toilet room and down the stairs, claiming that Netcare told him to bring her to the hospital himself. Have you ever heard of any ambulance company suggesting that you transport a bullet-ridden person to the hospital on your own? Really think about that for a moment. He needed to get her away from that highly incriminating bathroom and on the way to the hospital as quickly as possible, even though it was futile.
I believe that Oscar wanting the Standers to get her in a car and over to the hospital was nothing more than him getting her out of the house so he could make the scene look better than it did! After watching Oscar on the stand for over a week, I have no doubt in my mind that Oscar has the ability to cry quite fiercely for himself when cornered and in a panic. Any desperation that he showed that night was for him to get out of the situation. I don’t blame the Standers for having deep sympathy for their friend. He was after all… their friend.
Once Mr. Stander collects himself, he goes on to say that they tried to calm Oscar down. He describes Oscar as being “broken… screaming… crying… praying.” He told Oscar that he would go outside and call an ambulance.
While he was out trying to call the ambulance, Dr. Stipp arrived and introduced himself as Johan and stated that he was a medical doctor. Mr. Stander says HE asked Dr. Stipp to go inside and see if he could assist. He also asked Stipp for the number to an ambulance because he couldn’t get a hold of them. Stipp gave him the number 082911. As Dr. Stipp was walking to go in the house, he turned around and said to Mr. Stander “I’m actually a Radiologist” and then carried on walking.
Stander then phoned 082911. He managed to get through. While he was still speaking on the phone, Stipp came back out. Stander states that he said to Stipp he was having a hard time explaining to the people on the phone where to come. How is that possible? He has lived in the estate since 2009. I find it odd that he had difficulty explaining how to get to the estate.
So Stipp then took the phone and spoke to them. My thought here… the ambulance people wanted to know the extent of the injuries, no directions, and that is why he gave the phone to Stipp.
When Stipp testified, he said that Stander handed him the phone and he explained in detail the extent of the injuries. As you will see in my notes a little further down, Stander claims to have no knowledge of the extent of Reeva’s injuries. That is also very odd to me. For somebody who is a friend of Oscar’s, who was the very first person he called, how can he be so oblivious to the extent of her injuries? He was standing outside with Stipp when he was on the call. I think he is trying to dodge having to discuss what exactly Oscar did to Reeva.
The ambulance arrived shortly after that and declared Reeva dead. Stipp was standing outside with Stander at this point. He asked Stipp what he had heard, because Stipp had previously mentioned his house was behind Oscar’s, and Stipp said he heard 4 shots, silence, screams, and 4 shots again. Then Stipp mentioned that he couldn’t do anything more, so he was going to leave. Stander asked Stipp for his telephone number to give to the police in case they asked for it.
Just before he left, Stipp said to Stander that he saw Oscar going up the stairs. Stander saw this as well; he walked inside and asked Carice where Oscar is going. Carice jumped up, went up the stairs and was calling Oscar’s name. Stander then says that he had gone upstairs because the ambulance people were asking for ID for the lady.
Shortly after that, people started coming. A man introduced himself as Col. Van Rensburg. He asked what happened and took over the scene. This was right around 4am. Just before this, Stander had called Oscar’s brother (Carl) and informed him of the “accident”. He did not call the police. He then all of sudden seems to remember that security guards were there too (It was not lost on me that he failed to mention Baba or the other guards already being outside Oscar’s home WHEN THEY FIRST ARRIVED.) Stander says he asked the security guard to radio the gate and urgently get the police.
There were a number of vehicles there now. Some in uniform, some in civilian clothes. He could see people moving up and down the stairs. Then the police took over. For the rest of the day, Stander was only outside.
Oldwage asks Stander if he knows approximately what time Dr. Stipp arrived at Oscar’s house. Stander says he made the call to Netcare around 3:27pm, so he must have arrived just before that.
He also asked about the call made to 082911, he wants to know which phone was used to make the call. Stander testifies that it was his phone. The call was about five minutes long.
During the period that he was at Oscar’s home, Oldwage wants to know if he was able to observe Oscar. Stander says yes. First when he initially came down the stairs with Reeva, he spent some time with him in the house. Also, just outside the door on the pavement area. At certain times, he (Stander) went back inside. At one point, he saw Oscar in the kitchen.
He goes on to say it’s not something that he’d like to experience again. He again describes Oscar’s expressions of pain and sorrow. He was crying, praying and asking God to help him. Broken, desperate, pleading.
All throughout Stander’s testimony, Oscar never once looked at him. He mostly kept his head down or looked straight forward.
Stander then describes how Oscar put his finger in Reeva’s mouth to try to help her breath. Stander says “he saw the truth that morning. I saw it, and I feel it.”
No offense to Mr. Stander, but I believe that Oscar was legitimately very distraught by the SITUATION, not by the loss of Reeva. I believe that Stander believes Oscar. I believe that he saw Oscar at a very desperate time and he witnessed some very raw emotion. I do not fault Mr. Stander for believing him. He is Oscar’s friend and is biased.
Oldwage wants to know if Stander can recall approximately how long Oscar was upstairs, when he and Stipp observed him going up there.
Stander testifies that it’s difficult for him to say in seconds or minutes. When he approached his daughter and asked her where Oscar was going, she said to him that he was going upstairs to get an ID. But then he said she jumped up and went up the stairs to call for him. Oscar immediately came down after that. So he estimates it couldn’t have been longer than 30 or 40 seconds.
Oldwage asks if he knows what time the police arrived that night. Stander says that he phoned Carl at 3:59am. The police had arrived around that same time but he doesn’t know the exact time. He just remembers a man introducing himself as Colonel Van Rensburg.
Oldwage wants to know what Stander and Stipp discussed outside. Stander says that Stipp only told him that he had heard four shots, silence, screams then four more shots. Then Stander asked him his telephone number. After that, Stander went back inside when he saw Oscar going up the stairs and Stipp left.
Stander says he is sure that Stipp told him he heard 4 shots first, and then another 4 shots after. He remembers this clearly because when he was later discussing this incident with Carice he made the comment to her that he was concerned because you cannot shoot 8 shots at a person, even if he’s an intruder. I wonder if he considers 4 shots to be more acceptable.
Oldwage asks him if he remembers how long it took him to arrive at the scene that night after he received the call from Oscar. He believes it was approximately 3 minutes.
Stander then testifies about Oscar’s two dogs. He has interacted with them in the past and they are pleasant, kind-mannered and playful. He is testifying about this to explain away why they would not be barking that night when the “phantom intruder” was breaking in through the window. Oscar would not necessarily be tipped off to an intruder by these dogs since they are mild-mannered.
Stander says he was previously a member of the management committee at Silverwoods Estates but resigned in January 2013.
Oldwage wants to know if he knows of any incidents of crime that took place within Silverwoods. He testifies that there were three incidents. One was an incident where the intruders came over the fence and tied a woman up. Also, another incident where somebody came through the fence and used a ladder to get up in to the house. The third incident was theft, but the owner did not want to report it to police. It was electronic equipment that was taken.
Nel objects to this hearsay evidence for the record. The evidence was not presented as fact, only as what the witness has heard.
Oldwage says that Stander gained knowledge of these incidents via his management position within the estate.
Nel states again, he understands that, but it is still technically hearsay because these are incidents that Stander is aware of (he did not directly witness them, and is therefore relying on somebody else’s accounting of them). They are not police reports, just hearsay reports.
Stander says that when Oscar would come back in to town, they would get together for coffee and discuss what had happened in the community while he was gone. So he had discussed these incidents with him.
Oldwage asks Stander if he knew Reeva and he answers yes. He also asks if Reeva, at any stage, resided at Oscar’s house without the company of Oscar. He says yes, he met Reeva for the first time in December 2012. Oscar and Reeva were at Stander’s house at the time and Oscar was just about to leave for a trip to Cape Town. He asked Stander to look after his pets while he was gone but Reeva instead offered to look after them and she ended up staying at the house that week. She was there until December 31 (he accidently said Jan 31, but it was really Dec 31.) She dropped off Oscar’s keys with Stander before leaving.
They then look at a few more maps of the neighborhood. Stander points out the view to Oscar’s house from his top balcony.
Oscar’s bathroom windows can be seen just to the right of the middle palm tree in this photo.
They also look at the route that he drove that morning to get to Oscar’s house. See the red line below. Stander’s house is at the beginning of the red line on the upper left of the photo, and Oscar’s house is the end of the red line in the middle of the photo.
Oldwage rests and Nel is up for cross-examination.
Nel asks Stander if while he was on the management committee at Silverwoods, security measures were increased. Specifically, was the height of the walls increased? He says no, they were not. They add some additional strands and rings to the top of the gates. They also added in some additional beams. This was done in either 2011 or 2012.
Nel asks when the lady in the estate was tied up. Stander says he can’t recall the exact dates but around 2011 or 2012. Nel asks if there was a police report saying it was 2009, is that possible? He says yes, that’s possible.
As for the ladder incident, Nel wants to know where that happened. Stander says at the house of Mr. Christo Menelaou. Nel states, he and Oscar are good friends. Stander says he’s not aware of their friendship. Nel asks when this happened. Stander says he thinks 2010 or 2011. Nel wants to know if this was reported to the police. Stander says he can’t recall.
Nel then asks him, in January 2013; wouldn’t you agree that Silverwoods Estates was a safe place to live? Stander says it was safe but you cannot always be sure that you’re staying in a 100% safe place. Nel points out that Stander does not have burglar bars on his home. Stander says its estate policy that you can’t just install them. They would have to be built in to the frame of the house.
Nel then says, he’s not inviting hearsay in to this questioning but for this one instance he is. Nel goes on to say that Carice went to sleep that night with her balcony doors open. She only closed the doors in the early morning hours. Stander says, that’s correct.
Nel then confirms with Stander that he did not hear any shots or screams from anybody that morning.
Nel asks Stander if he is 100% certain of the contents of the phone conversation with Oscar on the morning of February 14. He says yes, he is. Nel asks him to repeat it. Stander says, “Johan, please, please, please come to my house. I shot Reeva, I thought she was an intruder. Please, please, please come quick.”
This is very important because it goes to intent, which is required for the Murder charge. There is really no mistaking from this statement that Oscar intended to shoot somebody. Oscar says very directly to Stander that he shot and that he thought the person was an intruder.
Nel asks, when you saw Oscar at the house that morning, did he talk to you? Stander says no, with the exception of when he was being taken away by police (around 8am), he walked over to Stander and hugged him and said “thank you very much.” But there was no conversation with him on the scene that night. His daughter did however talk to him.
Stander says he introduced Col Van Rensburg to Oscar upon Van Rensburg’s arrival but Oscar didn’t really say anything. He just shook his head and said yes. Not sure what he said yes to, maybe just acknowledging who he was.
Nel then says to Stander that he regarded Oscar as a friend. Stander seemed to try to downplay this and just says yea, we knew each other, he came to my house from time to time. Nel then goes on to say that Oscar even viewed him as a mentor. Again, Stander says Oscar would come over for coffee on occasion when he was in town. Oscar would ask for his advice regarding wanting to assist some of his team members and Stander would let him know what he thought. But never did he ask him over for dinner, nor did they go out to get a drink. It was not a relationship like that.
Nel asks if he ever saw him armed. Stander says no. Nel asks, when he came to your home did he ever have his gun with him? And Stander again says no. Nel asks if he ever saw Oscar with a gun at his own home. Stander says he was only in Oscar’s house once.
Nel asks Stander if he has had any discussion with Oscar since the incident. Stander says, “no, not about the incident.” He saw him at the private memorial for Reeva that was hosted by Oscar’s uncle Arnold. Both he and his daughter attended. But they did not discuss the incident.
So Nel wants to confirm the following – they spoke on the phone the morning of Feb 14th when Oscar called him for help, they spoke that morning briefly at the scene (and hugged) when the police took him away, and he saw him at the private memorial for Reeva at Oscar’s uncle’s house but they never discussed the incident (they only had friendly discussion about coffee while there.) He asks if this is correct. Stander gives a long pause and then answers yes.
So Stander is testifying that he NEVER discussed the incident with Oscar.
When the State rested their case, and it was apparent that the Standers were not going to be called by them, the Defense called them and set up a meeting. Oscar was there in chambers for that meeting, but again Stander states that he did not discuss anything directly with Oscar.
Nel then asks him about his comment to Carice about the 8 shots. Stander again summarizes what Dr. Stipp told him he heard that morning. He confirms that he made that comment to Carice that the 8 shots was problematic. So Nel asks him if he ever discussed 4 shots with Oscar. Stander says no, he did not.
Nel then asks him, did he ever tell you that this was an accident?
Stander says that when Oscar phoned him he said, “I made a mistake.”
Nel tells him no, you cannot say that. Nel reminds him that when they started he asked him if he remembered the conversation 100%, and Stander said yes, then he repeated the conversation. That conversation did not include the words “I made a mistake.” Nel wants to know why he wants to add things on now.
Stander says it was a mistake by him to say that. Nel wants to know why he would make this mistake. Stander is trying to say now that it was his inference that Oscar made a mistake. Nel really rakes him over the coals about this and points out that Stander did not present it as an inference, he was stating it as if Oscar said it.
Nel asks him why he would make a mistake like that, “do you want to assist Mr. Pistorius with his defense?” Stander says no, he is there to tell the truth.
Stander goes on to say that his inference of the phone call that morning was Oscar saying to Stander that he made a mistake. Nel asks him what Oscar’s mistake was. Was it that he wanted to shoot the intruder, but shot Reeva instead? Stander says he didn’t want to shoot the intruder. Nel keeps going around and around with him and finally Stander says the mistake was that he shot. Nel says no, and almost laughs here.
Nel tells him that nobody would make the inference that “the shots” were a mistake when they hear the statement “I shot Reeva, I thought she was an intruder.” Again, Oscar is trying to weasel his way out of his INTENTIONAL act. And clearly Stander subscribes to his cause, trying to say that the gunshots themselves were a mistake. That’s not what Oscar said to him that morning and he knows it.
Nel moves on to when Stander saw Oscar walking down the stairs with Reeva, and the comment that he made about Oscar looking relieved when he saw them. Nel points out there must have been enough light for him to see the expression on his face. Stander says that’s correct, there were lights on.
Nel asks Stander if he saw Oscar make a phone call that night. He says no. Nel also asks if he has knowledge of his daughter making a call from Oscar’s phone. He says, yes, she called Mr. Devaris. Nel asks him if he is aware where the phone came from. Stander says it was on the counter, closest to the outside wall of the kitchen. He believes that it was on a charger. He made notice of this phone when Oscar was in the kitchen, bending over “trying” to vomit. He was trying, but nothing was coming out.
Nel wants to put this in a timeframe. He establishes the following:
1. When the Standers arrived that night, they were the first two people in the house.
2. Johan Stipp arrived next.
3. Then after him, the paramedics arrived.
4. Then the police came last.
Nel asks, during the time that Dr. Stipp was there, where was Oscar? Stander can’t say for sure because he was outside.
Stander next saw Oscar when Stipp pointed out to him that he was going up the stairs. This is when Stander went back inside. Nel asks if this is when he saw the phone. Stander says no. Nel asks him, at what point did you see it?
Stander says he saw the phone the period just before the police arrived which was close to 4am. (This is after the paramedics announced that Reeva was dead and Oscar had gone upstairs to get her bag.) Stander says the phone was in the kitchen, fixed to a charger.
It seems pretty darn obvious to me that Oscar got his phone when he went upstairs, along with Reeva’s bag.
Stander believes that Carice made calls from that phone, but he’s not sure.
Nel establishes that Stander did not know Stipp prior to this incident. When they were outside talking after Stipp examined Reeva, Nel wants to know what they discussed. Did they discuss the injuries? Stander says no, Stipp just told him that she had a fatal head wound but he did not discuss any of the other injuries with him.
Nel asks him if Oscar or anybody else told him how many wounds she sustained. Stander says no. Nel then asks, “not even your daughter?” Stander pauses, then answers, “I can’t recall.”
That is highly odd to me that after seeing what he just saw, and knowing that his friend caused it, he didn’t ask any questions. Plus it’s not consistent with what Stipp testified. But even more odd than that is him saying he didn’t discuss it with his daughter. How in the world can they witness something like that and not discuss it?
Carice was inside with Oscar the whole time, helping him try to stem the bleeding on Reeva’s wounds. Surely she would have talked with her Dad about the incident in detail.
Nel asks him if he has followed the trial while it’s been on. Stander says yes, he reads the newspaper every day. He also watched some of it on TV in the evenings. But he has not followed everything that has been said.
Nel asks Stander if he ever went back to the scene to assist the Defense while they were doing their investigation. He says no. But initially he had the key to the house. There was an arrangement made after the incident that Col Van Rensburg would keep the key but when they finished at the house, they would turn it over to Stander, which they did. He then handed it over to the Pistorius family. Nel asks if he has ever been back in the house since February 14, and Stander says no.
Nel asks, when you spoke to Dr. Stipp, were you convinced that he had heard gunshots (both the first set and the second set of noises)? Stander says yes. Nel asks him if he ever asked Dr. Stipp about the screaming that he heard. Stander says no, they didn’t discuss it. All they ever discussed was what Dr. Stipp initially heard and that was all.
The only other thing that Stander asked Stipp that night was for his cell phone number. Stander says he did this in case the police needed it.
Nel then asks him about his call to Stipp later that night after he left the scene (the one that Stipp got around 4:30am). He wants to know why he made that call. Remember, per Stipp’s testimony, during this call he was informed that the Defense lawyer would be contacting him. Stander says he believed it was the right thing to do to inform Stipp that he had passed along his number.
Interestingly enough, he did not give Stipp’s number to the police; he gave it directly to advocate Oldwage. Within one hour of Reeva’s violent death, prior to Reeva’s mom even knowing she was dead, Mr. Stander was providing details and phone numbers to Oscar’s defense lawyer. Any question about whose side the Standers are on?
Nel asks Stander if he knows whether or not Oscar’s house was fitted with an alarm system. He says, yes it was. When he was taking care of Oscar’s dogs, he needed the remote control to activate and deactivate the alarm system. So Oscar would give the remote to him.
Nel then asks Stander how long Reeva stayed at Oscar’s house in December 2012. He says she was there for about a week and gave him the key when she left. Nel asks, you had no concerns about her staying there alone? Stander says no, they communicated by SMS messages when necessary.
Nel rests. Oldwage is back up for a few issues.
Oldwage asks Stander if he knows for sure who the cell phone belonged to that was seen in the kitchen. Stander says he does not know for sure.
Then Oldwage asks Stander about the testimony he just gave to Nel about being the first on the scene, along with his daughter, that morning. Oldwage wants him to really think back to the scene and see if he can remember anybody else being there (hmm, borderline leading here?)
Stander says he remembers a security guard being there. Finally he mentions Baba! Remember… Baba testified that he was there in the driveway when the Standers pulled up and they followed the Standers up to the front door. I was wondering when he was going to get around to mentioning him.
He then says there was another person there named Frank, a worker who was staying at Oscar’s house. This is the first we are hearing about Frank during trial too! Frank is Oscar’s helper around the house and he lives on the property. I have read online that originally Frank did have a statement for the police, but he later retracted and stated that he heard and saw “nothing.” This is unconfirmed, just something that I have read online, but still an interesting tidbit if true.
Oldwage then asks Stander if he made an interpretation about the call he had with Oscar that morning. And he says, he interpreted the conversation to mean that Oscar had made a mistake. He also confirms that he’s never discussed this interpretation with the investigators before prior to court. Oldwage is trying to point out that Stander simply made a “mistake” on the stand by sharing his interpretation as something that Oscar had said.
The female assessor has a question for Stander. She wants to know if Reeva had the alarm remote when she stayed at Oscar’s house in December 2012. He answers yes, she had the alarm remote. She knows how to activate and deactivate the alarm and she turned it back in to Stander when she dropped off the house key. The assessor also wanted to know if the remote made a beeping sound when arming/disarming it. Stander says the beeping sound can be heard inside, you don’t hear it from the actual remote. I’m guessing he means that you hear the beep from the panel on the wall inside. He had his own disabled at home, which can be done from the menu. He can’t recall if he ever heard that beeping sound when he was at Oscar’s house.
No further questions and Mr. Stander is excused.
The next witness up is Carice Stander. Her new married name is Viljoen. I will just refer to her as Carice.
Carice no longer lives in Silverwoods, but during the time of the incident in 2013, she was living there with her parents (Johan Stander is her father.) She is a lawyer advisor for a vocational recreation service.
Carice considers Oscar to be a friend. She met him when they first moved in to the estates in 2009 and they would have coffee together at her house, and she would visit his house on occasion too.
On the morning of the incident, she did make a statement to the police. It was a blonde police officer at the scene; she does not know her name. She was later asked to give a supplementary affidavit by Capt Van Aardt. They did this statement in the presence of their advocate.
A picture of the balcony at the Stander’s house is shown again and Carice identifies it as the balcony outside of her bedroom. (The same balcony seen above.)
In order to gain access to the balcony, she can go through the sliding door in her bedroom.
On February 13, 2013, Carice says she went to bed around 8:30pm-9pm. She was sleeping and was awakened by her dogs barking. The dogs sleep in her bedroom. She also heard other dogs barking in the neighborhood. It was a hot night so she was sleeping with the balcony door open. She didn’t want her dog to run out on the balcony while barking, so she decided to get up to close the slider.
As she was getting out of bed, she heard a person shouting “help, help, help.” She froze in her bed for a moment and realized that something was wrong. Then she got up, went to the blinds and closed them. She stood by the door to see if she could figure out where the noises were coming from. She closed the door and latched it, closed the blinds and got in to bed. Her heart was pounding fast. Her dogs were still restless.
She was lying in bed trying to settle down and was thinking about the man’s voice yelling for help. She thought there must be terrible trouble. And she was wondering “where is the lady?”
I’m not sure why she would immediately assume a woman would be involved too? That comment felt very well placed to me.
From Carice’s room, she can see her parent’s room and she saw their lights and heard commotion.
She then got up and walked to her parent’s room. She told her Mom that she heard somebody shout for help and somebody is in trouble. Her Mom then told her that they just received a call from Oscar. He told her Dad that he shot Reeva, he thought she was an intruder.
Carice and her Dad immediately went to help. Carice pulled her car (a silver mini) out of the garage and waited for her Dad in the street. Her Dad came running out and they rushed to Oscar’s house. She confirmed that they took the red route shown on the map above, which her Dad testified to as well.
She parked her car in the road with her hazards on and she and her Dad jumped out of the car. When they arrived, there were some people in the road and she remembers asking them what was going on. There was confusion. One was a security guard and the other was Frank, a man that worked at Oscar’s house.
Roux asks Carice approximately how long it took from the time her Mom told her about the phone call to the time they arrived at the scene. She believes it was about 3 minutes or so.
He also wants to know how long the time frame was in between when she heard the “help, help, help” shouts and when she spoke to her Mom. She guesses about 5 minutes.
She proceeds with telling the story. She reiterates that she asked the men in the street (Baba and Frank) what was going on and they said they didn’t know.
Baba stated in his testimony that the Standers just ran past them and did not say anything to them which I tend to believe. Why would she need to stop and ask the men anything if Oscar just told her Dad on the phone that he shot Reeva. They knew what was going on.
Carice and her Dad then rushed to the house, she was walking in front. The door was very slightly open and when she touched it, it opened. As the door opened, the first thing she saw was Oscar carrying Reeva down the stairs. He was at the middle landing area. She could see that he was walking rather fast. Oscar kept saying to her “Carice please, Carice please, can we just put her in the car and get her to the hospital.”
I’m telling you… my gut instinct here is very strong that he wanted Reeva out of that house because he did not want the police there. He wanted to buy himself as much time as possible and the only way to do that now is to get Reeva out.
Carice said to him, no just put her down so we can see what is wrong. Carice gets very upset on the stand and starts crying. She says that Oscar was begging her to get Reeva in to the car. He said “just take my car, put her in the car.” She said no, just put her down. So he placed her on the ground. Carice saw blood everywhere. At that moment, her Dad stepped outside to call the ambulance.
Carice was kneeling on one side of Reeva and Oscar was kneeling on the other. He still continued to beg Carice to take her to the hospital. Carice told him to just wait for the ambulance and let’s see what we can do, we need to stop the bleeding. So Carice proceeded up the stairs where the linen closet is located and she grabbed some towels. Carice says that she remembers it was rather dark. This is in contradiction to what her father testified. He said the lights were on. Also remember, he could clearly see the expressions on Oscar’s face when he was coming down the stairs.
Carice came back down and Oscar was praying to God the whole time. He was begging Reeva to stay with him. They then tried to stop the bleeding. Carice also asked him for tape and bags because she wanted to tie off Reeva’s arm wound. She said that didn’t work so they proceeded to use a towel. They tried to tie that around the arm and it was difficult. They lifted up the elastic of her shorts and put a towel on her hip wound. Oscar was holding pressure there. Most of the time he had his finger in her mouth as well, trying to help her breath. When Carice asked Oscar to fetch the bags and tape, he asked her to keep her finger in Reeva’s mouth while he went to get those items.
Carice got up to ask her Dad where the ambulance was because Oscar was frantic, and at that time she saw Dr. Stipp. Carice told Oscar that there was a doctor there and she states that they were both relieved. Stipp walked in and Carice went back outside with her Dad who was still calling the ambulance. So at this point, just Stipp and Oscar were inside with Reeva.
After examining Reeva, Stipp came back out and Carice went back inside. They passed each other at the doorway. She said he wasn’t in there very long. Carice says that he just said something like “it’s very bad.” When Carice went back in, Oscar was with Reeva.
Roux asks her if she had any discussions with Oscar. She says that while they were trying to stop the bleeding, she asked “Oscar, what happened.” He looked at her and said “I thought she was an intruder.” She didn’t ask anything else. They just continued trying to save Reeva’s life at that stage.
This makes no sense to me because Reeva was clearly dead at this point according to Stipp. Mr. Stander testified that when Stipp came outside, he told him it was a fatal head wound but also said that Stipp didn’t talk about the other injuries, nor did Stander ask. Now Carice is saying that Stipp only told her “it’s very bad.” Why are the Standers being so vague about Reeva’s injuries and the fact that she was dead?
At some point, the ambulance arrived and the paramedics came in. Carice said to Oscar, let’s step aside so they can work on her. They went in to the kitchen area. Carice did notice one of the neighbors peering in to the house. She believes it was Mike (Nghlengthwa). The paramedics were there and there was a lot of commotion and Mike was peering around the door. She looked at him and either gestured or said (I couldn’t tell which) to not come in. She didn’t want anybody else coming in. Roux asks her if Mike did anything else and she says this was all she could remember about him.
While the paramedics were working on Reeva, Oscar and Carice were in the kitchen. Oscar was asking the paramedics to do whatever they could to save her life. She says that the paramedics then came in to the kitchen to see if Oscar was ok and if they could phone anybody for him. Carice says they must have left after that.
For some strange reason, Carice still has not acknowledged in her testimony that Reeva was dead at this point. It just struck me as odd. She didn’t acknowledge that Stipp found her to be dead. And she didn’t acknowledge that the paramedics found her to be dead.
So Roux then asks her if the paramedics asked them for any documents. She says yes, they asked for identification. Roux asks, for whom? Carice says for Reeva. At this stage, Carice asked Oscar where her handbag was. He said that it was upstairs and he would go fetch it.
No doubt that Oscar did not want ANYBODY going upstairs at that point.
Oscar then went upstairs alone. She remained downstairs with the paramedics. Just as he was out of her view, her Dad came inside and asked, where’s Oscar? She replied that he went upstairs and then immediately panicked because she recalled that Oscar had just told the paramedics that the gun was upstairs in the bathroom.
She immediately ran up and was too scared to go any further, so she stood there in the dark and shouted out “Oscar please, just bring the bag quickly.” She could hear him walking on the tile area. He then came back out with the bag and handed it to her. She says it was not a long period of time at all.
She finally states that the paramedics did announce Reeva’s death at 3:50pm. She also says that Oscar went upstairs after that announcement.
Roux wants to know where Oscar was next after coming down. Carice says right next to her in the kitchen.
Roux asks if she knows anything about phone calls. Carice reiterates that the paramedics asked if they could contact anybody for him. Oscar said no. Carice then said to him, let us please phone somebody for you. She then noticed at one point that he was busy on the phone (so that means Oscar did call Justin Devaris himself!). Carice testifies that what Oscar was saying didn’t make any sense so she took the phone away from him and she spoke to the person.
She told the person that they must please come to Oscar’s house, he needs them. Roux asks her if she knows who was on the phone and she answers that it was either Justin or Jason. Carice says she did not know Justin. Carice says she can’t remember exactly what she said to him but it was something about Oscar shooting Reeva. Justin asked if she was ok, and Carice told him no, she has passed away, please come quickly. She says it was not a long conversation.
Roux asks her if she spoke to anybody else. Carice says Oscar asked her to call Piet Van Zyl (Oscar’s manager). She can’t remember who dialed but she spoke to Piet from the beginning. Oscar was in the kitchen area close to her at this time. A few times he vomited.
Roux asks, in relation to the phone calls, what time did the police arrive? Carice says they arrived after they made the phone calls. The first policeman who arrived and introduced himself was Col Van Rensburg. (Her Dad had testified that he introduced Col Van Rensburg to Oscar, but Carice is now saying that Van Rensubrg introduced himself.)
At some point, there were two additional gentlemen that were standing in the foyer area. She asked them who they were because they were in street clothes. They told her that they were police. She says more police officers arrived later.
Carice says that the initial conversation with Col Van Rensburg in the kitchen was very brief.
She also says at this stage, people were going in and out of the house. Then Carl arrived. After that is when they announced that they were securing the scene. They wanted to take Oscar to the garage, but they really struggled to get him to walk past Reeva’s body in the foyer.
She does recall that while she was still in the kitchen with Oscar, she did see people going up and down the stairs but she couldn’t tell him who they were.
Roux asks if she went with Oscar to the garage. Carice did go in the garage with him, and then came out again. It sounds like she had somewhat free access to him during this part of the night. Interesting.
Roux then asks about the “event” with Reeva’s handbag. Carice says, “you mean that we took the handbag?” Roux says, yes.
Carice is speaking in circles now. Much of what she is saying is a little hard to keep up with. But from what I could understand, she explains that Oscar’s sister, Aimee, arrived on the scene. Later in the morning after all of the police were there, Aimee asked the police if she could pack some clothes for Oscar which they allowed her to do.
Carice then says she could see Aimee through the upstairs window and she looked rather upset, so she (Carice) asked for permission to go up there and help her.
How can she tell that she’s upset through an upstairs window? Another oddity.
The police officer allowed Carice to go and help her. So they packed a few things for him (she doesn’t specify what), came back down and got in to the car. Aimee then says to Carice, “should we take the bag?” Meaning, Reeva’s handbag. Anybody with two brain cells to spark together understands that you can’t take ANYTHING away from a crime scene. Whatever or whomever prompted them to take that bag had a reason for it and I do not believe that it was for the benefit of the Steenkamp family.
Aimee pondered that for a moment and then went back in to the house, walked past the police officers and went in to the kitchen (where Carice had left the bag on the counter after getting the license out.) Carice was very careful to mention that SHE took the license out of the bag for the paramedics, not Oscar. Remember back in Oscar’s testimony, he made a point to tell the court that he did NOT go through Reeva’s bag without being prompted for that information at all. He just felt it relevant to tell the court that he didn’t go through her bag. Not suspicious at all.
Carice says they took Reeva’s bag for “safe keeping” for Reeva’s Mom. I’m quite positive the police were capable of doing that. I’m literally sitting here with my jaw on the floor listening to all of this. Not only was Oscar’s phone STOLEN from the scene that morning, now we find out that Reeva’s handbag was also STOLEN from the scene. Both were stolen by OSCAR’S PEOPLE. Innocent people do not need to remove evidence from a crime scene. If anything, they want it left there to help them prove that they are innocent. These were not innocent, well-meaning acts. Aimee and Carice were very negligent for what they did, and Carice should know better considering she is a lawyer!
Roux asks her what time she left the premises. Carice says “I can’t remember at all.” Roux asks if Oscar was still there. She then says that after Oscar was brought out by police and put in to the car, Aimee and Carice followed behind them to the police station with his clothes.
Roux rests. Nel is up.
Nel wants to discuss the first phone call that Oscar made that morning in Carice’s presence (the one to Justin Devaris.) He asks Carice, that was in the kitchen, correct? She says yes. Nel then says, according to her statement, that phone was on a charger. She says yes. She can’t remember exactly but she recalls that she couldn’t move away from the wall so she believes it was plugged in.
Nel also asks Carice if there were lights on in the house when she arrived. She says yes. He also asks, enough for you to see ok? She then says the kitchen light was on. He asks her if they switched any other lights on and she says no. But at a later stage when the paramedics arrived, they switched on the lights by the door.
Nel asks Carice if Aimee packed a watch for Oscar. Carice says yes. Nel wants to know if she was with Aimee at that time, and she says yes. He also wants to know if there was a policeman with them and Carice says yes. She points out that the officer was Van Staden.
They then look at a photo of the upstairs hallway. In the photo you can see the brown linen cabinets (one half opened) and a blue towel lying on the floor in front of them. This is where Carice fetched the towels that morning.
Nel asks Carice when she and Aimee were upstairs, did they go in to the bathroom. She says no, they did not. The police officer was blocking the bathroom. He was with them at all times, with the exception of one moment where Carice went in to the spare bedroom to look for a bag. Other than that, the bedroom and bathroom were guarded by the police at all times.
Nel asks her if she ever had an opportunity to discuss the incident with Oscar again. She says, no, not at all.
Nel asks if there was any communication with him. She answers that after the bail verdict, Col Van Rensburg organized a visit with him for Carice and her Dad. Col. Van Rensburg was with them during that visit. Nel asks if they discussed the incident at that time and again she says no, not at all.
Nel wants to know exactly what Oscar said about the location of the gun that night. She says she just remembers Oscar telling the paramedics that the gun was in the bathroom.
Next, Nel asks when Oscar went upstairs to get the handbag and you followed him, were there any lights on up there? Carice says she can’t remember.
Nel goes back to the phone calls made that morning. First there was Justin, then there was Piet, and then Carl. Nel asks if she remembers any other phone calls made that morning. She says, none that she made. Nel also asks, would it have been possible for Oscar to call anybody else without her knowing? Carice says when she was with him, she didn’t see him making any other phone calls. He only made the call to Justin, and she made the calls to Piet and Carl.
Nel asks if she remained with him at all times in the kitchen until he was moved in to the garage. Carice says that there was a time when she stepped outside to see her Dad, but then she went back inside after. So he was potentially in the kitchen and the vicinity by himself for a brief time.
Nel asks her if she remembers what happened to the cell phone when Oscar was moved from the kitchen to the garage. She says, no she cannot remember.
Nel asks her if she saw that cell phone again. She answers that she saw a cell phone in the garage but she doesn’t know if it was the same phone. The phone that was in the garage was also on a charger.
Nel then cleverly establishes with Carice that Oscar was in command that night. He knew what he was doing and was responding to questions and direction. Oscar instructed her to get the towels to help stop the bleeding. He went to go get the bags and tape when requested. He requested Carice to keep her finger in Reeva’s mouth when he got up, so that she could try to assist Reeva with breathing. He was thinking and following what was going on. I believe that Nel is trying to point out here that Oscar was in control of his faculties that night and probably there is no good reason for his selective memory.
Nel asks her if she remembers Piet arriving on the scene. She says she does remember seeing him, but she can’t remember exactly when.
Nel asks, later in the morning, when Oscar was in the garage and the police were investigating, you stayed outside? She says yes. She even went back home to shower and change clothes and then came back. The incident of her and Aimee packing clothes for Oscar was after she had returned. It was morning and the sun was out. Therefore, the incident of her and Aimee taking Reeva’s bag was late morning as well.
If we remember back to Moller’s testimony on Day 15, the iPhone that went missing from the scene left the scene that morning at 8am. Around the same time that Oscar was put in to the police car and taken away. As of today, we know that Aimee and Carice left the house at the same time as Oscar and followed behind the police car with Oscar’s bag of goodies and Reeva’s handbag in their possession. One could strongly infer, the stolen phone was with them in that bag!
Carice Stander is excused.
Roux does not have any additional witnesses prepared to testify today, therefore he asks the Judge to adjourn early for the day and she grants the request.