Oscar Pistorius Trial: Phone history laid bare in court


Only four messages out of 1,709 between murder-accused Oscar Pistorius and his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp could show an argument, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard on Tuesday.

According to a Police data analyst, Captain Francois Moller, under cross examination only four messages were relevant to the argument. “Out of that more than 1700 you found four [relevant to an argument]?” asked [Pistorius Lawyer] Barry Roux. “That’s correct,” replied Captain Moller.

The State alleges  shot dead his girlfriend Steenkamp during a row in the early hours of February 14, last year. It disputes his version that he thought he was shooting an intruder in the bathroom of his Pretoria house.

Roux asked whether, during analysis of a WhatsApp message relating to the discharge of a firearm at Tasha’s in Melrose Arch, Pistorius had said he had asked his friend Darren Fresco to take the blame. “No,” said Moller.

A message from Pistorius to Steenkamp read: “Angel, please don’t say anything to anyone. Darren told everyone it was his fault. I can’t afford for that to come out. The guys promised not to say a thing.”

Roux said it showed his concern over the media but did not say he asked Fresco to take the blame. “That’s correct,” said Moller.

Roux skipped one message, saying it was a “reflection on the deceased” which would be dealt with later.

Pistorius has been charged with the premeditated murder of Steenkamp and of contravening 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 shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

Phone calls

However, on Monday the court heard a phone belonging to Pistorius was used for an internet connection at 1.48am on February 14, the morning he shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp dead.

The connection lasted for 309 seconds — five minutes and 15 seconds, according to testimony by police cellphone analyst Captain Francois Moller.

Pistorius said at his bail application that he and Steenkamp went to bed around 10am on February 13 and he was woken up on February 14 by what he thought was an intruder in his house. He shot through a toilet door and only afterwards realised Steenkamp was in there.

Neighbours have testified to hearing screams and what sounded like gunshots from the home around 3am on Valentine’s Day. The court is hearing evidence from Moller on what his analysis of Pistorius and Steenkamp’s phones yielded.

Pistorius has pleaded not guilty to Steenkamp’s murder as well as to charges under the Firearms Act for alleged negligent discharge of a firearm at a restaurant and firing a shot out of the sunroof of a car in Modderfontein.

On Monday the court heard text message exchanges between the couple in which Steenkamp complained about his behaviour towards her at two public functions.
He pleaded not guilty to all the charges.