Oscar Pistorius awaits the start of court proceedings.
"Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius put on his artificial legs
and walked across his bedroom before firing four shots through
a locked toilet door, killing his cowering girlfriend in cold
blood, prosecutors told a court.
Reeva Steenkamp, a 30-year-old law graduate and model, died
after being hit by three rounds from a 9-mm pistol,
prosecutor Gerrie Nel said.
Pistorius, 26, wept uncontrollably in court as Nel outlined
details of a shooting that has stunned South Africa and the
millions around the world who saw the double amputee's track
glory as an inspiring tale of triumph over adversity.
Later, in a dramatic affidavit read out by defence lawyer
Barry Roux, Pistorius said he had been "deeply in love" with
Steenkamp, whom he had been dating since November, and had no
intention of killing her.
Having had previous death threats and break-ins, Pistorius
said he slept with a 9-mm pistol under his bed in his plush
Pretoria home in the heart of a well-secured gated community.
He and Steenkamp went to sleep on Wednesday night - the eve
of Valentine's Day - some time after 10pm, he said.
However, in the middle of the night, he awoke in pitch
darkness and thought an intruder had climbed through a window
and entered the toilet, Pistorius said.
Without putting on his prosthetic legs - contrary to the
prosecution's version of events - he moved on his stumps into
the bathroom adjoining his bedroom and noticed the closed
toilet door. He did not realise Steenkamp was behind it, he
He shouted for the intruder to get out of his house then
fired several shots into the door, before calling to
Steenkamp to phone the police.
When she did not respond, he grabbed a cricket bat to beat
down the door and found her slumped on the floor, he said.
"I was absolutely mortified by the events and the devastating
loss of my beloved Reeva," he said in the affidavit.
As Roux read the statement, Pistorius sobbed unrestrainedly,
prompting magistrate Desmond Nair to halt proceedings for
several minutes. "You need to concentrate on what's going
on," Nair told him.
The bail hearing was adjourned until 0700 GMT on Wednesday.
Nearly 1000 km away, on South Africa's windswept southern
coast, scores of mourners gathered under cloudy skies in the
city of Port Elizabeth for Steenkamp's funeral.
Amid the grief, there was little sympathy for Pistorius, who
at the time was weeping on a wooden bench in the spartan,
brick-face courtroom in the capital.
"She was an angel. She was so soft, so innocent. Such a
lovely person. It's just sad that this could happen to
somebody so good," said Gavin Venter, an ex-jockey who worked
for Steenkamp's father.
"I'm disgusted with what he did. He must be dealt with
harshly," he added, shortly before Steenkamp's cremation in
the Victoria Park Crematorium. "Without a doubt he's a danger
to the public. He'll be a danger to witnesses. He must stay
The case has drawn further attention to endemic violence
against women in South Africa after the gang-rape, mutilation
and murder of a 17-year-old near Cape Town this month.
Members of the Women's League of the ruling African National
Congress protested outside the Pretoria court, waving
placards saying: "No Bail for Pistorius" and "Rot in jail".
Before Pistorius's testimony, Nel, the lead prosecutor at the
bail hearing, painted a picture of premeditated killing,
which carries a life sentence in South Africa.
"If I arm myself, walk a distance and murder a person, that
is premeditated," he told the packed courtroom, arguing that
Pistorius had time to think about what he was doing. "The
door is closed. There is no doubt. I walk seven metres and I
"The motive is 'I want to kill'. That's it," he added. "This
deceased was in a 1.4 by 1.14 metre little room. She could go
nowhere. It must have been horrific."
The arrest of Pistorius stunned the millions who had watched
in awe last year as the Olympic and Paralympic sprinter
reached the semi-final of the 400 metres in the London
Olympics, running on high-technology carbon fibre 'blades'.
But the impact has been greatest in sports-mad South Africa,
where Pistorius was seen as a rare hero who had transcended
the racial divides that persist 19 years after the end of
He carried South Africa's flag at the closing ceremony of the
London Olympics, and US magazine Sports Illustrated named him
as one of the most inspiring figures of the year.
"Many questions are being asked, but we have no answers,"
Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said in a statement.
The sprinter's endorsements and sponsorships included
sportswear giant Nike, British telecoms firm BT, sunglasses
maker Oakley and French designer Thierry Mugler and were
thought to be worth as much as $2 million a year.
In his affidavit, Pistorius said he earned 5.6 million rand
($630,500) a year and owned properties worth nearly $1
However, Nike and Mugler both said they had dropped Pistorius
from advertising campaigns, while cosmetics firm Clarins said
it was recalling its 'A Man' perfume range out "respect and
compassion towards the families involved".
Other sponsors have said they will make no decisions until
the legal process has run its course.
Born without a fibula in either leg, Pistorius had his lower
legs amputated as an 11-month-old baby but became the
highest-profile athlete in the history of the Paralympic
After the hour-long private ceremony in the cream-coloured
hill-top church in Port Elizabeth, Steenkamp's brother Adam
and uncle Mike, fighting back tears, spoke briefly to
"There's a space missing inside all the people that she knew
that can't be filled again," Adam Steenkamp said. "We are
going to keep all the positive things that we remember and
know about my sister. We will miss her."