The former girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius testified at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday, the fifth day of the trial where Pistorius is accused of the premeditated murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Samantha Taylor dated Pistorius in 2011 after the pair met at a rugby match and connected on social media when she was 17 years old.
Taylor is familiar with the crime scene because she spent many nights at the athlete’s home when they were a couple. According to Taylor, Oscar always slept on the right side of the bed. She explained that she knew about Pistorius’ ownership of a gun because he often had it on his person. When she slept with Pistorius, she noticed that he kept the gun on the bedside table on his side of the bed or on the floor next to his prosthetic legs. Pistorius has been using prosthetic legs since childhood after his legs were both amputated.
Samantha Taylor told the court that she had heard her ex-boyfriend scream on a few occasions but never once did he sound like a woman as the prosecution has implied since the beginning of the trial. She painted an intriguing image of the accused when she described another shooting incident which occurred while she travelling in a car with Pistorius and his friend Darren Fresco. Darren Fresco is the same friend who handed Pistorius the loaded gun which accidentally went off at a restaurant where a child sat in close proximity during the incident.
The vehicle in which the three friends were travelling was stopped by traffic police for speeding. Pistorius was not impressed and when the police discovered a gun in his possession, “Oscar shouted at the policeman and said he shouldn’t touch his gun,” said Taylor. She added that after the traffic stop, Pistorius and Fresco were annoyed at being stopped by police and they decided they would shoot at a traffic light. Taylor told the court that Oscar “took out his gun and shot through the roof” of the car. The car had a sunroof and it was open. Pistorius and Fresco found that incident funny.
Twice while she delivered her testimony, Taylor was overwhelmed by emotion when she spoke about her relationship with Oscar. She said that Pistorius would sometimes shout at her when they were together. She mentioned that she was still dating Pistorius when she saw him with a new blonde, Reeva Steenkamp, at an award ceremony.
The last witness on the stand at the end of the first week of the trial was security guard Pieter Baba. He spoke Afrikaans and an interpreter translated into English for the court’s benefit. Baba was stationed at the security gate of the Silverwoods Estate on the night Pistorius shot Steenkamp. Though he did not go inside the home of the accused after the shooting, he did speak to Pistorius on the phone and also went as far as the door to enquire about the commotion. He got a view of Pistorius carrying Steenkamp from upstairs to the ground level of his home. Baba had been too shocked to remember exactly how the athlete had carried his injured model girlfriend. Baba recalled Pistorius telling him that “everything is fine” but he had not believed the accused because Pistorius sounded like he was crying at the same time.
Court was adjourned on Friday afternoon. The trial of Oscar Pistorius will continue at the North Gauteng High Court on Monday morning. It will be broadcast live on television and online. Various social media platforms are used by newsrooms around the world to give updates about the goings-on in court.