The Pistorius family lawyers are fast building a reputation for methodically tearing the statements of investigating officers apart with their tenacious line of questioning. This time around it was lawyer Kenny Oldwage who made Constable Robert Raphudu wish he was anywhere other than the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
Kenny Oldwage is representing Carl Pistorius who is on trial for culpable homicide. Carl Pistorius is the brother of paralympian Oscar Pistorius who has his own share of on-going legal problems. In 2008, Maria Barnard was killed when her motorbike was involved in an accident with the vehicle that Carl Pistorius was driving. Constable Robert Raphadu was one of the officers called to the scene to collect evidence and document the details of the accident as required by the law.
According to News24, the defence team presented new evidence which discredits the evidence supplied by the constable in earlier statements. The discrepancies pointed out by Oldwage include inaccurate measurements and sketches that do not match the scene of the accident. Oldwage said that at the time, the officer had had no means to measure certain distances and therefore had resorted to estimating those distances by counting his paces. “I used tape. It gave me that number. It’s all I can say”, objected Constable Raphadu.
The Public News Hub reported on how Barry Roux had also shredded the state’s evidence during the Oscar Pistorius bail hearing. Barry Roux is the other member of the Pistorius family legal team. Not only did Roux make the court aware that prescribed crime scene procedures were not followed at the Reeva Steenkamp crime scene but, he also brought it to the attention of the court that the investigating officer in the case, Hilton Botha, was also facing criminal charges. Shortly thereafter, the investigating officer left the police force.
It appears the state has an uphill battle in overcoming the objections raised by the defence in the Carl Pistorius case. Responses such as those offered by Constable Robert Raphadu including, “According to me, it’s a lie” may not be satisfactory. The court was adjourned until 21 May.