May 5, 2014 (ISN) – Oscar Pistorius was “broken” after shooting girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day, a neighbour told a court in Pretoria in today.
Following a two-week break for Easter, the court today heard a heart-wrenching account from neighbour Johan Stander, the first person South Africa’s six-time Paralympic gold medallist called after killing Steenkamp.
He found the sprinter “broken” as he descended the stairs of his house, holding the body of his dead girlfriend, he told the court.
“Please, please, please, come to my house,” Pistorius told him over the phone.
“I’ve shot Reeva.
“I thought she was an intruder.
“Please, please, please, come quick.”
Upon arriving at the house, Strander described seeing the athlete carrying his girlfriend down the stairs after allegedly mistaking her for an intruder and shouting her four times through the bathroom door.
“He was screaming, he was crying, he was praying,” said Stander.
“The expression on his face, an expression of sorrow, an expression of pain, he’s crying, he’s praying.
“It was as if he was torn apart.
“His commitment to save the young lady’s life — when he put his finger in the young lady’s mouth; how he begged her to stay alive.
“I saw the truth that morning.
“I saw it.
“And I feel it.”
Stander, who lives about 350 metres from Pistorius, claimed he received a call at 3.18am on February 14, 2013.
He also claimed a number of break-ins had occurred at the private Silver Woods estate in Pretoria where he and Pistorius live.
One such incident saw thieves break through a fence and use a ladder to gain access to a house, whilst a woman was tied up by intruders during another.
Strander’s daughter, Viljoen, who arrived with him at Pistorius’ home, broke down whilst she described seeing the 27-year-old carry Steenkamp down the stairs of his home.
“He was saying, ‘Please, please’,” she told the court.
“He was begging me to put her in the car and take her to the hospital.
“I was kneeling at Reeva’s side and there was blood everywhere.”
Over the coming days the defence team is expected to call forward ballistics, audio and psychological experts in an attempt to counter several of the prosecution’s claims which argue that the Paralympian intentionally murdered his girlfriend of three months following a row between the couple.
The trial continues.