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Sat Oct 25 08:18:48 SAST 2014

The Oscar Pistorius murder trial Day 10

TimesLIVE, Tymon Smith, Graeme Hosken, Sapa, AFP and Reuters | 14 March, 2014 09:27

Get all the news from the Oscar Pistorius murder trial on Day 10 in one place.

COP EXPLAINS DIFFERENCES IN OSCAR PICS - Sapa

Differences in photographs taken at Oscar Pistorius's house the night he shot dead Reeva Steenkamp prompted questions in his murder trial in the High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

"The scene was preserved for the original photographs to be taken and as soon as those photographs were taken then the investigation started," testified former Boschkop police station commander Giliam van Rensburg.

Pistorius has said he shot Steenkamp dead on February 14 2013 in a toilet cubicle at his home in Silver Woods estate Pretoria, mistaking her for an intruder.

He has pleaded not guilty to murder.

Van Rensburg was taken to task over why in one photograph which is part of the collection of exhibits, a pair of white flip flops were neatly placed next to each other, and in another one was at a right angle to the other.

Barry Roux, SC, for Pistorius, also focused on yet another picture of a black bag with white piping which is seen on a brown leather couch next to the bed.

It is then in another photograph on the floor with just one of the flip flops, next to it.

"The plakkies (flip flops), this is one thing they really focused on," he said of his team's work after they arrived in the early hours of February 14.

Court adjourned early when Roux and prosecutor Gerrie Nel said they had run out of questions for the witness.

Court was adjourned until 9.30am on Monday.

Pistorius has also pleaded guilty on two charges under the Firearms Act.

COP DESTROYED NOTES, COURT TOLD - Sapa

The first police officer on the scene of Reeva Steenkamp's killing destroyed the notes he made at the time, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Friday.

Testifying in paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius's murder trial, Colonel Giliam van Rensburg said: "I didn't have a diary. At the time I had a notebook, but it was full. I had to rely on notes."

He was being cross-examined by Barry Roux, SC, for Pistorius.

Roux asked him what he did with his notes.

"I destroyed that (sic) notes," he replied.

Shortly before, there had been a tense exchange between the former police officer and Roux about what he may or may not have noticed at the scene of the crime, at Pistorius's Pretoria home on February 14 last year.

Roux made suggestions that Van Rensburg had tampered with the scene.

An exasperated Van Rensburg replied that the crime scene was recorded, untouched, by a police photographer, before further photographs, showing objects having been moved around, were made.

There was a tense silence, and Roux bent down to whisper to his colleague Kenny Oldwadge, SC, sitting next to him.

Roux straightened up and showed the court his lighter side.

"Mr Van Rensburg, I'm told you're the last witness today. I'm just trying to use the court time to find some more questions," he said to peals of laughter.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel was unable to find a photo he wanted to question Van Rensburg on.

The officer, who was commander of the Boschkop police station, resigned in December last year to become a sports coach.

Court was adjourned until Monday.

Pistorius is accused of the premeditated murder of model and law graduate Steenkamp. He is also charged with contraventions of the Firearms Control Act.

He has denied guilt on all the charges

GRUELLING MORNING FOR STATE WITNESS - Sapa

A former police officer testifying in Oscar Pistorius's murder trial was put through a rigorous set of "spot the difference" questions on Friday.

These related to police procedure in the hours after the paralympian shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Former colonel Giliam van Rensburg had to read through excerpts of police statements and examine photographs taken of the scene on the morning of February 14, 2013 when Pistorius shot Steenkamp.

He said he thought she was an intruder in the toilet and has pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder which the State alleges was premeditated.

Barry Roux, SC, for Pistorius, pointed out changes such as a "Mr Steenkamp" recorded as the person who phoned emergency services instead of a "Mr Stander" at the Silver Woods estate in Pretoria.

Van Rensburg initially thought he found three cellphones, but discovered that two were actually the back and front of one, and another one was pointed out by a police photographer.

He said as investigations proceeded, details changed as more observations were made.

When the lead policeman attended to a scene, his first tour of the scene was not just to notice things but also to help colleagues. Then other things were noticed.

Roux was trying to establish who had gone upstairs first to where Pistorius said he shot Steenkamp in the toilet.

He did not appear to accept Van Rensburg's explanation that it was himself and investigating officer Hilton Botha who went up first, because his statement did not mention Botha.

Van Rensburg said that in police statements "I" can sometimes mean "we".

Van Rensburg, the former Boschkop police station commander, had been the first policeman to arrive at the scene after attending to an armed robbery before that.

He was also present when the house was finally sealed and locked up.

Now a sports coach after resigning in December, he told Roux he did not notice a difference between two pictures of the front door of Pistorius's house sealed.

He modestly described his observation skills as above average because of his work and was astounded when told the seal patterns on the door were completely different in the two photographs and that he had missed that detail.

He recovered to say the pictures on the screen shown in the court were moving very quickly and were not showed next to each other to allow comparison.

Showing signs of hesitation after another question in a gruelling morning of cross-examination, Roux said: "It's not a trick question I see you don't want to make observations any more."

Roux finally asked Judge Thokozile Masipa for a lunch break with his customary: "Will this be an opportune moment?" and court was adjourned for an hour.

Pistorius also faces charges under the Firearms Control Act for allegedly discharging a firearm in a restaurant in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg and out of a sunroof in the Modderfontein area.

CAN PHOTOS BE RELIED ON? ASKS ROUX - Sapa

Oscar Pistorius's lawyer Barry Roux, SC, on Friday questioned the first police officer on the scene of Reeva Steenkamp's murder on the reliability of photos taken at the crime scene in February last year.

"When can we rely on the scene photo as a true reflection, and when is it changed?" Roux asked former police colonel Giliam van Rensburg during cross-examination in Pistorius's murder trial in the High Court in Pretoria.

He was referring to a photo displayed in court showing a white cellphone on the tiled floor of Pistorius's bathroom, along with a section of grey towel and a toilet door panel.

Van Rensburg conceded that when he arrived at the house the towel covered the phone. He launched into a lengthy explanation of how the first photos taken of a crime scene were the most important and showed the scene unchanged.

More photos were then taken later as police "investigated further".

Van Rensburg has since resigned from the police to coach sport.

Pistorius claims he shot Steenkamp through the locked door of his toilet cubicle thinking she was an intruder. He bashed open the door with a cricket bat and carried her bleeding, lifeless body downstairs.

Pistorius is accused of the premeditated murder of model and law graduate Steenkamp. He is also charged with illegal possession of ammunition, and two counts of discharging a firearm in public.

He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013. On September 30, 2012 he allegedly fired a shot from his 9mm pistol through the open sunroof of a car while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

PISTORIUS'S LAWYER GRILLS COPS - Sapa

"Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius's lawyer on Friday accused a former police officer of using his testimony to spare the State the embarrassment of calling to the stand a colleague who had compromised evidence.

"You allowed yourself to give evidence that was designed to take the place of Mr Botha," Barry Roux, SC, said to former police colonel Giliam van Rensburg during cross-examination.

He was referring to Hilton Botha, the investigator who was dropped from the high-profile case last year after he admitted contaminating the scene where Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February last year.

Judge Thokozile Masipa asked Roux to repeat his statement in a more simple manner.

"You are standing in for Mr Botha's evidence on aspects that you cannot stand in for," Roux said.

Van Rensburg denied this, adding that Botha expected that he would have to testify in the murder trial.

Shortly before this exchange, Roux had asked the High Court in Pretoria if the State would call Botha as this would determine how many questions he would put to Van Rensburg.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel rose and said: "I don't know yet, My Lady. We'll decide that as the evidence comes."

Roux proceeded to attack the police investigation and the credibility of Van Rensburg, former commander of the Boschkop police station, who was the first policeman to arrive at Pistorius's home after the shooting.

The lawyer repeatedly made the point that "material facts" were absent from his initial statement, implying that he had to rely on observations that were in fact made by Botha.

Painstakingly taking Van Rensburg through the police's actions in the hours and days that followed Steenkamp's shooting, he repeatedly asked: "Where was Mr Botha?"

Van Rensburg said he did not see Botha touch or move anything as they followed a trial of blood leading up the stairs of Pistorius's home.

He admitted, however, that some time later he saw, to his dismay, a ballistics officer pick up the gun that Pistorius used to shoot Steenkamp without protective gloves.

This was the second embarrassing admission he was forced to make after earlier telling the court that one of Pistorius's luxury watches had disappeared from the scene.

Van Rensburg said he then took the utmost caution to secure the crime scene and prevent evidence, notably the bathroom door through which the fatal shots were fired, from being contaminated.

On Thursday, he told the court how he arrived at Pistorius's home to find Steenkamp's body lying under bloody coverings and the star Paralympic athlete pacing the kitchen floor in distress.

"He was very emotional," Van Rensburg repeated to Roux on Friday.

"I would not say unstable... but he was upset," he added and confirmed that the first two times he asked Pistorius what had happened, he failed to respond.

"My deduction was that as a result of his emotional state, he was not able to answer."

Pistorius has pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder. He claims he did not intend to kill Steenkamp but believed there was an intruder in his bathroom when he fired four shots through the locked toilet cubicle door, fatally wounding the glamour model.

In his plea explanation, he accused the police of tampering with evidence, suggesting that this would be a pillar of his defence.

The State is trying to prove that he shot her deliberately after an argument.

Earlier this week it called to the stand a police forensic expert who disputed Pistorius's claim that he was wearing his prosthetic legs when he used a cricket bat to force open the locked toilet door.

Both Van Rensburg and Botha have left the SA Police Service since the shooting. Van Rensburg retired in December, while Botha resigned shortly after Pistorius's bail hearing where he conceded that he failed to put on protective footwear when inspecting the scene of the shooting.

It also emerged during the bail hearing that he had faced criminal charges for shooting at a taxi.

The trial was set to resume after lunch with further cross-examination of Van Rensburg.

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius Art theory class breaks for lunch back at 2.

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius - Roux "how does it work when you take photos of the scene?" #artcrit101

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius Point is that if as Van Rensburg remembers, white phone was under towel, why in photo is it not under the towel?

ROUX PROBES VAN RENSBURG'S STATEMENT - Sapa

Oscar Pistorius's lawyer Barry Roux, SC, began interrogating a statement by the first police officer on the scene of Reeva Steenkamp's death on Friday.

Former police colonel Giliam van Rensburg told the High Court in Pretoria he went upstairs with Warrant Officer Hilton Botha, following the trail of Steenkamp's blood, after he got to Pistorius's home in the early hours of February 14 last year.

Pistorius is on trial for Steenkamp's murder.

"Who went upstairs according to your paragraph 10?" Roux asked Van Rensburg during cross-examination.

He was referring to part of a statement Van Rensburg had made.

"I went," Botha replied, as the clicking of laptop keyboards from the journalists in the public gallery intensified.

"Where is Hilton Botha?" Roux fired back.

"He was with me," retorted Van Rensburg.

"Where in your statement is Hilton Botha?" Roux asked.

Van Rensburg explained that he was using the words I and we interchangeably.

Botha was the first investigating officer assigned to the case. It later emerged that he mishandled evidence. He subsequently resigned from the police and was replaced by Lt-Gen Vineshkumar Moonoo.

Before this exchange there had been a lull in proceedings of about 45 minutes, punctuated with long silences as Van Rensburg thought about his replies.

Time in the windowless, wood-panelled courtroom seemed to drag on as Roux asked about who Van Rensburg was with in Pistorius's home, the cellphones, and cricket bat found on the scene.

Van Rensburg sighed several times, his voice often trailing off. At one point Roux paused, lowered his head and rubbed his eyes and forehead.

Then the tension rose as Roux asked: "Colonel, you remember at the beginning of my cross-examination I said what you are doing is to take the place of Hilton Botha, to make him an unnecessary witness?"

This led to the exchange of whether Botha had accompanied Van Rensburg upstairs.

Pistorius claims he shot Steenkamp through the locked door of his toilet cubicle thinking she was an intruder.

He bashed open the door with a cricket bat and carried her bleeding, lifeless body downstairs.

Pistorius is accused of the premeditated murder of model and law graduate Steenkamp. He is also charged with contraventions in terms of the Firearms Control Act.

He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013. On September 30, 2012 he allegedly fired a shot from his 9mm pistol through the open sunroof of a car while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

OSCAR IS A 'KIND, GOOD HUMAN BEING': FRIEND - Sapa

Paralympian Oscar Pistorius has received support from his family and friends during his murder trial because he is a kind and generous person, a friend from Iceland said.

Ebba Gudny Gudmundstottir and her mother flew from Iceland to Pretoria to support the athlete and his family as he faces murder charges after he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February last year.

"He is a very kind person, he is a good human being and you always feel safe and comfortable when you are around him," an emotional Gudmundstottir told Sapa.

"He takes care of his friends and he is there for them. He is very generous with his time and with his love and empathy.

"Oscar is just very special. That's why it is very difficult to understand what is going on here now."

Gudmundstottir sat in the back row of the public gallery in the High Court in Pretoria from March 3 to March 13.

She cried in court on Monday, when pathologist Professor Gert Saayman described Steenkamp's wounds. Pistorius himself was emotional and was retching in the dock as Saayman spoke.

Saayman said Steenkamp died as a result of multiple gun shots.

Pistorius is on trial for the murder of Steenkamp who was shot through a locked bathroom door of his Pretoria home on February 14 last year. He said he had mistaken her for an intruder.

Gudmundstottir said it was important to show physical support for the 27-year-old athlete who had been her friend for almost nine years.

"He was always there for us when we needed comfort. It is no tragedy to have a child who has no legs but there are difficult moments," she said emotionally.

"He was always there for us, so that's why we want to be here now when he needs friends. We wanted to give him physical support because that's what he gave to us."

Her eight-year-old son Halli was "just like Pistorius" and he was born with missing fibulae bones, she said. Both his legs were amputated when he was 11 months old.

Born without fibulae, Pistorius had both his lower legs amputated before he was a year old.

He was the poster-boy of ambition and overcame adversity, becoming the first amputee to compete on the track in the able-bodied Olympics in 2012.

An emotional Gudmundstottir remembered how she befriended Pistorius.

Doctors told Gudmundstottir when she was 20 weeks pregnant with her son that he would be born with no legs.

She remembered how worried, scared and confused she was because there was no record of a child being born like that in Iceland.

She said then they googled "double-amputee" and found a photograph of Pistorius running in the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens.

"I can't explain how happy I was [when I found the photograph] because I did not know what it meant when they told me my son did not have legs," Gudmundstottir recalled.

"I just really did not understand it. I did not know anybody with no legs so seeing this was like a miracle to me."

Gudmundstottir said her mother, who was also in court to support Pistorius, contacted a journalist who interviewed the athlete and asked him to convey the family's heartfelt gratitude for having been there "without knowing it".

Her face lit up as she remembered the reply from Pistorius.

"He wrote my mom back and said 'hi I'm Oscar Pistorius, were you looking for me' with a smiley face," she said.

"Then he said if there is anything I can help you with, just let me know."

Gudmundstottir said they started corresponding and a year later he went to Iceland because of his blades and asked to meet the family.

The Gudmundstottir's invited him to their home and said as a family they had peace of mind after seeing Pistorius and seeing what he had accomplished.

"Oscar was extremely polite, and kind. He said jokes, he was just very kind to both my children. It was very obvious what kind of a person he is," she said.

Pistorius and the Gudmundstottirs became close and the family went to Manchester, in London, to see him run.

Gudmundstottir remembered one athletics meet when Pistorius won a gold medal and they were on a hill nearby.

"Oscar came running to us and he put his gold medal around my son's neck and he said to him 'this is for you champion' and my son was just beaming with joy," she recalled with tears in her yes.

Pistorius also showed Halli, who was three at the time, that they were the same which made the toddler beam with joy, she said.

"Halli was happy because in Iceland he is always the only one who doesn't have any legs, so it was a lovely thing to do," she said.

"Oscar means a lot to us and we know him well."

Gudmundstottir said the athlete was patriotic and showed them pictures of South Africa.

"He loves his country, he loves the people, he loves the food and is always bragging about it," she said.

Gudmundstottir said she would continue to support her friend despite returning to Iceland on Thursday. He mother would stay another week.

OSCAR: FIRST COP IGNORANT ABOUT WINDOW - Sapa

The police officer who did the first scope of the crime scene where Oscar Pistorius shot Reeva Steenkamp did not notice the toilet where she was shot had no window.

This emerged in Pistorius's murder trail in the High Court in Pretoria where former Boschkop police station commander Giliam van Rensburg faced his first round of cross-examination by Barry Roux, SC, for Pistorius.

He said when he went into Pistorius's bedroom he saw the curtains were open and he moved a silver fan to get on to the balcony.

He and Warrant Officer Hilton Botha had followed a trail of blood up the stairs and into the bedroom.

Van Rensburg and Botha have since resigned from the SA Police Service.

Botha was replaced as investigating officer as questions were raised over his handling of the investigation.

Van Rensburg is now a sports coach after he resigned in December.

The positioning of the fan and the curtains may form part of cross-examination to corroborate Pistorius's version that he moved it inside from the balcony before the shooting.

Pistorius said during his bail application he feared there might be an intruder in the bathroom when he heard a noise in the early hours of February 14, 2013.

Workmen had been over and he had seen a ladder against the wall previously, Pistorius said at the bail application.

Pistorius said he shot through the toilet door in the bathroom, and later realised he had killed Steenkamp.

She had been spending the night.

He bashed at the door with a cricket bat to free her and took her downstairs where she died.

Van Rensburg said earlier he had arrived at Pistorius's home at 3.45am after coming from an armed robbery elsewhere.

He said he found Pistorius "very emotional" and crying, but not unstable.

He tried to ask him twice what happened but he did not talk to Van Rensburg.

Pistorius obeyed an instruction to move to the back of the kitchen where he had been standing.

He and Botha followed a trail of blood up the steps and into the bedroom and bathroom.

He went towards the balcony from the right side of the room because the blood trails went to the left.

He said he also did not see a baseball bat at the entrance to the room at first, next to the air rifle and the sunglasses cabinet.

He saw it later. He explained that as the first on a crime scene an officer sees things but is also assisting a team.

"So you discover things later," he said.

These are added to later reports.

Van Rensburg said that looking over the bedroom balcony on the morning of the shooting he did see ladders outside.

But he insisted there was no window in the toilet cubicle, just the bathroom windows.

But Roux insisted there was.

Pistorius has pleaded not guilty to murder, which the State alleges was premeditated and could have been during an argument.

Pistorius is also charged with contraventions of the Firearms Control Act.

He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

On September 30, 2012 he allegedly fired a shot from his 9mm pistol through the open sunroof of a car while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

Shocked, shirtless Pistorius photos shown in court - Tymon Smith

Photos of a shocked looking, shirtless Oscar Pistorius on the morning of February 14 last year were shown in court during the first session of day ten of the Paralympian's murder trial as the testimony of SAPS Colonel Schoombié van Rensburg continued.

Pistorius is charged with the murder of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, but the athlete has maintained he killed her in a case of mistaken identity.

A large part of the remainder of the former Boschkop station commander’s cross-examination by defence advocate Barry Roux was devoted to a missing watch, which had disappeared during the police's investigation.

Van Rensburg had tightened access to the scene following the incident and also opened a theft case that has as yet not been resolved.

Van Rensburg also testified that a ballistics expert had picked up Pistorius's firearm from the bathroom floor, where it was found, and removed the magazine without wearing gloves.

Before beginning his cross examination of Van Rensburg, Roux asked state prosecutor Gerrie Nel to inform the court whether the state intends to call former Warrant Officer Hilton Botha.

Nel replied that he had not as yet decided.

Roux put it to Van Rensburg that his testimony is intended to ensure that it will not be necessary to call Botha, thereby protecting him from another embarrassing interrogation by Roux, who confronted the investigating officer during Pistorius' bail application hearing last year.

Botha subsequently resigned from the police service after being replaced as lead investigator on the Pistorius case following the cross-examination.

Roux is continuing with his cross-examination of Van Rensburg after the tea adjournment.

OSCAR TRIAL: WHERE WAS MR BOTHA? - Sapa

Oscar Pistorius's lawyer Barry Roux, SC, showed great interest in the High Court in Pretoria on Friday in where former police officer Hilton Botha was during the first tour of the scene of Reeva Steenkamp's murder.

"Where was Mr Botha?" was a refrain Roux repeated as he cross-examined the first police officer on the scene, Colonel Giliam van Rensburg, during Pistorius's murder trial.

Van Rensburg was asked how he and Botha walked through the house where Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend Steenkamp on February 14 last year, a few hours after the alleged crime.

Van Rensburg said he did not know where Botha was, and did not see him touch or move anything.

Botha was the first investigating officer assigned to the case. It later emerged that he mishandled evidence. He subsequently resigned from the police and was replaced by Lt-Gen Vineshkumar Moonoo.

Pistorius claims someone broke into his house. He shot through the locked toilet door thinking the intruder was behind it, killing Steenkamp.

Court adjourned for tea shortly after 11am.

Pistorius is accused of the premeditated murder of model and law graduate Steenkamp. He is also charged contraventions under the Firearms Control Act.

He has denied guilt on all charges.

ROUX BEGINS CROSS EXAMINATION OF VAN RENSBURG - Sapa

Oscar Pistorius's lawyer Barry Roux, SC, swiftly began his attack on the credibility of the first police officer on the scene of the paralympian's alleged crime, in the High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

Roux claimed the former commander of the Boschkop, Pretoria, police station, Col Giliam van Rensburg, gave more evidence than he needed to during Pistorius's murder trial.

"You allowed yourself to give evidence that was designed to take the place of Mr Botha," Roux put to Van Rensburg.

He was referring to the former investigating officer in Pistorius's case, Hilton Botha. Botha has since resigned from the police. He mishandled evidence in the case.

Judge Thokozile Masipa asked Roux to simplify his statement.

"You are standing in for Mr Botha's evidence on aspects that you cannot stand in for," Roux said.

Van Rensburg denied this.

Shortly before this exchange, Roux asked the court if the State would call Botha to testify. This would determine how many questions Roux would put to Van Rensburg, he said.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel rose and said: "I don't know yet, My Lady. We'll decide that as the evidence comes."

Pistorius claims someone broke into his house and hid in the toilet. He shot through the toilet door, killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of February 14 last year. Van Rensburg was the first police officer on the scene.

Pistorius is accused of the premeditated murder of model and law graduate Steenkamp. He is also charged with contraventions in terms of the Firearms Control Act.

The athlete has denied guilt on all charges.

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius but we'll have to wait for Roux's comp lit class until after tea. For now Roux going through Van Rensburg's testimony

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius but wait there's more. Statement number 2 from 8 May 2013 get ready for some #comparativeliteraturestudies

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial  #OscarPistorius now we get Van Rensburg statement number one stamped 16 February 2013

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius When Roux asks if you're satisfied with your answer and you say yes, be afraid, be very afraid.

Tweet: TMG Oscar ‏@OscarsTrial #OscarPistorius Roux is circling, and even though he's not here Hilton Botha's name's been mentioned several times

GUN HANDLED AT STEENKAMP SHOOTING SCENE - Sapa

A policeman picked up the firearm believed to have been used in the fatal shooting of Oscar Pistorius's girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp without gloves, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Friday.

Former policeman Giliam van Rensburg said that while he and colleagues were collecting evidence on the morning of February 14, 2013, shortly after the shooting, he heard the sound of a gun being cocked behind him.

He saw the ballistics expert had the firearm in his hands, without gloves.

"So I asked him what are you doing?" said Van Rensburg.

The man looked and saw he was not wearing gloves.

"And then he said 'Sorry'," said Van Rensburg.

The man took a cloth out of his pocket, wiped the gun, and made it safe.

Van Rensburg earlier testified how one of Pistorius's eight wristwatches disappeared from his bedroom while evidence was being collected.

Van Rensburg said he cracked down on access to the Silver Woods estate where the paralympian lived and put barriers around the house making people sign in and out for access, and to sign evidence out in bags.

He also had the house sealed.

"I didn't trust anyone at that stage," he said.

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.

The trial continues.

COP EXPLAINS HOW WATCH WENT MISSING - Sapa

One of eight expensive watches in Oscar Pistorius's bedroom disappeared while the police forensics team was working in his house, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Friday.

Former commander of the Boschkop, Pretoria, police station, Colonel Giliam van Rensburg explained during Pistorius's murder trial what the forensics team did hours after he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on February 14 last year.

Pistorius had an open box of eight expensive watches on a speaker in his main bedroom. The inside of the lid had blood smears on it and the watches had blood spatters on them.

"I mentioned to all the forensic team that the watches are a big concern because they are very expensive.

"One of the forensic team mentioned that one of the watches, the green and black one, was worth between R50,000 and R100,000," Van Rensburg said.

Earlier that morning Pistorius's sister Aimee had received permission to take one of the watches and some of her brother's clothes. She did so accompanied by police officers.

Van Rensburg said to questioning by prosecutor Gerrie Nel that while they were getting ready to leave, a Warrant Officer Van Staden came to him in the garage and told him a second watch had gone missing.

"I called everybody into the garage. We body searched everyone. We searched the bags, we searched the whole house. We even searched the vehicles of all the forensic experts. We could not find it."

Van Rensburg subsequently opened a theft docket which was handed to the provincial commissioner's office. The matter was still under investigation.

"I was furious and the next morning I implemented access control [to Pistorius's house]."

Pistorius claims someone broke into his house and hid in the toilet. He shot through the toilet door, killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of February 14 last year. Van Rensburg was the first police officer on the scene.

Pistorius is accused of the premeditated murder of model and law graduate Steenkamp. He is also charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and two counts of discharging a firearm in public.

He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

On September 30, 2012 he allegedly fired a shot from his 9mm pistol through the open sunroof of a car while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

PICTURE OF BLOODIED PISTORIUS SHOWN IN COURT - Sapa

A photograph of Oscar Pistorius posing in blood-soaked shorts for a police photographer the morning he shot dead his girlfriend was screened in his murder trial in the High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

A tattoo of the Bible verse 1 Corinthians 9:26-27 which includes the words: "I do not run like a man running aimlessly" was visible on his back and there was blood smeared on his left arm.

Pistorius was wearing his prosthetic legs -- not the "blades" he is more famous for as he waited at starting lines in Paralympic and Olympic races -- and white socks of which one was soaked with blood.

Pistorius took notes as former Boschkop police station commander Giliam van Rensburg recalled events on the morning of February 14, 2013.

He took the court through several photographs of the scene taken by a police photographer, including a bloodied toilet bowl with smears of blood on the seat.

When he was asked to confirm a photograph of Steenkamp, it was not shown to the court, the screen going white.

On Thursday, pictures of her bloodied body were inadvertently shown as officials scrolled through pictures to display.

From a distance the colour photographs in Van Rensburg's file could be seen as he turned the pages.

He said the photograph of Pistorius was taken in the garage before he was arrested for the murder of Steenkamp.

He told Pistorius he was not under arrest yet but that he should not leave the house.

He said either Pistorius or his brother Carl had called Pistorius's legal representative Kenny Oldwadge who arrived on the scene.

At that point Van Rensburg was working with Warrant Officer Hilton Botha and the police photographer.

Pistorius has pleaded not guilty to the charge of murdering model and law graduate Steenkamp, saying he did indeed shoot her but thought there was an intruder in the house when he fired four shots through the toilet door, where she was.

She died on the scene.

He has also pleaded not guilty to charges under the Firearms Act for allegedly discharging a weapon in a restaurant and shooting out of the sunroof of a car.

The trial continues.

BATHROOM WINDOW UNDER SCRUTINY - Sapa

There were no marks on the wall on the outside of Oscar Pistorius's house indicating someone might have tried to climb in, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Friday.

Former commander of the Boschkop, Pretoria, police station Colonel Giliam van Rensburg was talking prosecutor Gerrie Nel through a photograph of the window of Pistorius's first floor bathroom in his Silver Woods Country Estate townhouse.

Van Rensburg told Nel he could find no signs of forced entry on the window.

It has three panes of frosted glass. The one on the right, closest to the toilet, was found open.

Pistorius claims someone broke into his house and hid in the toilet.

He shot through the toilet door, killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of February 14 last year.

Van Rensburg was the first police officer on the scene.

Another photo, this time of the bathroom window taken from the outside of the house, was displayed in court.

"There was no way someone could have come in through the window without the use of the ladder. I could see no marks on the wall," Van Rensburg testified in Afrikaans.

Pistorius is accused of the premeditated murder of model and law graduate Steenkamp.

He is also charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and two counts of discharging a firearm in public.

He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

On September 30, 2012 he allegedly fired a shot from his 9mm pistol through the open sunroof of a car while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

WEEK TWO OF PISTORIUS TRIAL DRAWS TO CLOSE - Sapa

Day 10 of Oscar Pistorius's murder trial on Friday is expected to see cross-examination of the first policeman to arrive at the scene of the alleged crime.

Former commander of Boschkop, Pretoria, police station, Colonel Giliam van Rensburg on Thursday took the High Court in Pretoria on a tour of the paralympic athlete's double-storey home in the Silver Woods Country Estate.

Pistorius shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the toilet on February 14, 2013.

A sequence of photos showing the interior of his townhouse, taken by police hours after the murder, were displayed on screens around the court.

Photos of Steenkamp's body, as she was found in the entrance hall covered in towels, had been deleted from the sequence of photos.

Pistorius, his hair shorter, arrived in court at 9am and took his seat in the dock.

Members of the Steenkamp and Pistorius families sat at opposite ends of the first row of the public gallery.

Pistorius is accused of the premeditated murder of model and law graduate Steenkamp.

He is also charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and two counts of discharging a firearm in public.

He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

On September 30, 2012 he allegedly fired a shot from his 9mm pistol through the open sunroof of a car while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

DAY 10 OF OSCAR TRIAL - Sapa

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

Day nine of the "Blade Runner's" trial 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.

The court was also shown photographs of a blood trail leading from Pistorius's bathroom down the staircase in his house, prompting the disabled Olympic athlete to squirm in the dock.

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.

State witness, retired policeman Giliam van Rensburg, said this was the position in which he found Pistorius's firearm after he shot dead Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year.

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.

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