After more than a month lay off, the trial of Oscar Pistorius resumed at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. The major piece of information that emerged on Monday was that the double amputee did not have a mental disorder.
Oscar Pistorius is standing trial for the murder of his girlfriend, law student and model, Reeva Steenkamp. The prosecution contends and has presented evidence to the effect that Oscar and his girlfriend had a huge and heated disagreement on the eve of Valentine’s Day in 2013. During the course of the argument, Reeva left the couple’s bedroom and went into the adjoining toilet and proceeded to lock the door. Angered by this, Oscar is said to have started shooting at Reeva through the door. The prosecution has brought the notorious Pistorius door through which the shots were fired as evidence of what transpired on that fateful night. The prosecution further asserts that Oscar was so enraged on that night that he specifically intended to kill Reeva.
The defence, led by Barry Roux, argue, on the other hand that it was a case of mistaken identity. The story they present to back this theory up is that when Oscar went to bed the previous day, he had instructed Reeva to bring in a fan that they had left on the balcony. When he woke in the middle of the night, he got up to bring in the fan. When he got back into the bedroom, he heard noises in the bathroom and on noticing that the bathroom window was open, he quickly assumed that there was an intruder and he went for his gun. When he challenged the intruder to come out and there was no response, he proceeded to fire four shots at the door. Three of these shot were the fatal shots that killed Steenkamp. One of their witnesses, while giving evidence, argued that Oscar had suffered from a psychiatric condition, generalized anxiety disorder, that meant that he was not aware of his actions or the consequences thereof. From this, the presiding Judge, Thokozile Masipa, ruled that the accused undergo psychiatric evaluation for a month.
From the evaluation, the evidence presented showed that he did not have a mental disorder that affected his concept of right and wrong. Also giving evidence, Dr Gerry Versfeld, the doctor who amputated Oscar’s legs as a child gave the impression of a man who was very vulnerable without his prostheses. In addition, Oscar had to take off his prostheses and walk around the courtroom to demonstrate to Judge Masipa how vulnerable he was without them. The trial continues.