PRETORIA, (Reuters) – A witness heard “non-stop shouting” in the home of South African athletics star Oscar Pistorius shortly before his girlfriend was shot dead, the detective leading the murder investigation said yesterday.
Warrant officer Hilton Botha, a detective with 24 years on the force, also told the Pretoria magistrates court in a bail hearing that police had found two containers of testosterone and needles in Pistorius’ bedroom.
The athlete’s defence team said the containers held a herbal remedy taken legally by many athletes, landed some blows to Botha’s portrayal of a cold-blooded killing and described inconsistencies and errors in the initial investigation.
Pistorius, a double amputee dubbed “Blade Runner” because of his carbon fibre racing blades, sobbed uncontrollably as Botha presented his testimony about the death of Reeva Steenkamp, 29.
The law graduate and model was in the toilet of the athlete’s home when she was shot dead in the early hours of Feb. 14 – Valentine’s Day. She was hit in the head, arm and hip.
The shooting and allegations that have emerged at the hearing have stunned South Africa and millions of people around the world who regarded Pistorius, who has no lower legs, as the epitome of physical triumph over adversity. “One of our witnesses heard a fight, two people talking loudly at each other … from two in the morning to three,” Botha told the court. Pistorius’ first call after the incident was to the manager of his high-security complex at 3.19 am, Botha said.
In an affidavit delivered on Tuesday, Pistorius said he woke in the middle of the night and thought an intruder had climbed through his bathroom window and entered the adjoining toilet.
The 26-year-old said he grabbed a 9-mm pistol from under his bed and went into the bathroom.
Pistorius – the highest-profile athlete in the history of the Paralympics – then described how he fired into the locked toilet door in a blind panic in the mistaken belief that the intruder was lurking inside.
After four hours of testimony, the hearing was adjourned until today. It is expected to conclude this week, once the defence and prosecution have outlined their central arguments.