Oscar Trial: police procedures under fire

WEB_PHOTO_Oscar_Pistorius_

Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius takes notes during court proceedings at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria March 13, 2014. Pistorius is on trial for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his suburban Pretoria home in 2013.

PRETORIA - Paralympian Oscar Pistorius will be back in the High Court in Pretoria on Friday for day 10 of his murder trial.

More graphic details of the scene of Reeva Steenkamp&39;s shooting are expected to come out in court today.

The haunting scene of the blood trail through Oscar Pistorius’s house is likely to be the focal point of former Boschkop commander, Lieutenant Colonel Schoombie van Rensburg in his second day of testimony.

Van Rensburg was the first police officer on the scene at Pistorius’s Silverwoods Estate home around 4am on 14 February 2013. He resigned from the SAPS last year.

Van Rensburg will likely have to answer several questions about what police did at the crime scene.

Day nine of the "Blade Runner&39;s" trial (on Thursday) saw the State and defence sparring over the sequence of his actions on the night he shot his girlfriend, as a door bearing bullet marks remained on display in court.

So far, van Rensburg&39;s testimony has focused on photographs showing a trail of blood from Oscar Pistorius&39;s bathroom down the stairs, to Steenkamp&39;s body at the foot of the stairs.

Other photographs of the bathroom showed blood, splattered on the tiles and walls.

The photos prompted Pistorius to squirm in the dock.

Van Rensburg said he spoke to Pistorius before investigating officer Hilton Botha arrived on scene.

He then led Botha on the trail of blood spatter through the home.

Droplets downstairs, and on the walls leading up the stairs led to smears and eventually puddles in the bathroom where Reeva Steenkamp had died.

In one of the pictures, an unsecured silver handgun could be seen lying on a grey towel, with a cellphone partially visible from underneath it and a blood smear beside it.

Van Rensburg, said this was the position in which he found Pistorius&39;s firearm after he shot dead Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine&39;s Day last year.

Talking Van Rensburg through photos of the house, State Advocate Gerrie Nel also pointed out a hole through the main bedroom door and an air gun positioned next to the door. A metal baseball bat was positioned next to the air gun.

Van Rensburg said he had not noted the hole in the main door, nor marks on the side of the door which Nel also pointed out.

Nel did not indicate whether the state felt this hole and other marks were of any significance. 

If Nel finalises his examination quickly, prosecutor Barry Roux could have some tough questions for Van Rensburg. 

The defence has already raised questions about how the crime scene was handled, including police footprints found on one of wooden panels of the damaged bathroom door.

Neat and minimalist

Photos of Pistorius’s home revealed a neat minimalistic style with mostly cream, beige and brown.

Trophies adorned a shelf in one lounge area, and Pistorius had a cabinet of numerous sunglasses at the entrance of his bedroom.

Pistorius was sponsored by Oakley for several years.

Pistorius has pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder, claiming that he believed there was an intruder hiding in a locked toilet cubicle in his home when he fired four shots into it, fatally wounding Steenkamp.

 

  • Ed&39;s note: this article has been updated with additional information.