Pieter Baba. Photo by Reuters
Around 10 minutes after shooting dead his model
girlfriend through a locked toilet door, South African track
star Oscar Pistorius told a housing estate security guard
"everything is fine", his murder trial has heard.
Testifying on the fifth day of the trial at the Pretoria High
Court, Pieter Baba, who was on guard duty the night Pistorius
killed 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp, said he received a call
from the athlete at 3:21 a.m., around five minutes after
Steenkamp was shot.
Pistorius was too upset to say anything on the call, Baba
said, speaking in Afrikaans through an interpreter.
However, when Baba - concerned that something was wrong -
called him back a few minutes later, Pistorius told him:
"Security, everything is fine." Baba delivered the quote in
The dramatic testimony from one of the first people on the
scene capped a week of hearings in which several witnesses
described hearing a woman's shouts and screams before a
volley of shots in the early hours of Valentine's Day last
Steenkamp died after being hit by three of four rounds fired
by Pistorius from a 9 mm pistol through the door of a toilet
cubicle in an upstairs bathroom in his luxury home in a
Pretoria gated community. The shooting stunned South Africa
and millions of Pistorius supporters around the world.
The 27-year-old - one of the most recognised men in world
athletics - denies murder, saying it was a tragic accident
and that he mistook her for an intruder. If found guilty, he
is likely to spend at least 25 years behind bars.
"SHOOT A ROBOT"
As well as the murder charge, Pistorius is being tried for
three firearms offences, part of prosecution attempts to
portray him as a gun-obsessed hot-head.
Earlier on Friday, ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor told the
court how a seething Pistorius had fired his pistol out of a
car's open sun-roof after a heated argument with a police
officer in September 2012.
Taylor said she, Pistorius and a friend, Darren Fresco, had
been pulled over by a policeman for speeding. When he saw
Pistorius' pistol lying on the car seat, the officer picked
it up and emptied its magazine onto the floor of the car,
prompting an outburst from Pistorius, she said.
When they were allowed to go on their way, Pistorius and
Fresco started to joke about shooting out a traffic light,
known in South Africa as a robot, Taylor said.
"Oscar was very angry," said Taylor, who was sitting in the
back seat at the time of the incident. "Thereafter they were
joking around and saying they wanted to shoot a robot."
"Two minutes after, I saw Oscar take his gun and shoot out of
the car roof. A very loud sound. They both laughed," she
Taylor's testimony comes two days after the court heard how
Pistorius accidentally fired a pistol under the table in a
packed Johannesburg restaurant - right next to a child - and
then asked his friend Fresco to take the blame.
PISTORIUS WOKE GIRLFRIEND
Taylor, who broke up with Pistorius when he started dating
Steenkamp in late 2012, also described two other incidents in
which Pistorius drew his gun.
The first was when he jumped out of his car at the gateway of
his Pretoria housing complex and put his gun to the window of
a black BMW that appeared to have been following him.
The other was when he woke up in the middle of the night
after hearing a bang in the bathroom.
"Something hit the bathroom window and Oscar woke me up and
asked me if I had heard it," Taylor said, noting that the
noise had probably been generated by a passing storm. "He got
up with his gun and walked out of the room."
Taylor, who broke into sobs twice during her testimony, also
said there had been "one or two" other occasions when
Pistorius woke her after hearing noises during the night.
The testimony contrasts with a Pistorius bail hearing
affidavit in which he said he did not check whether Steenkamp
was still in the bed before going into the bathroom to
confront the supposed intruder on the night he shot her.
Pistorius had his lower legs amputated as a baby but went on
to achieve international fame as the "fastest man on no
legs", running on carbon-fibre prosthetic limbs.
Dubbed the "Blade Runner" for his stunning Paralympic
performances, he ascended to the pantheon of track greats at
the 2012 London Olympics when he reached the 400 metres
semi-final competing against able-bodied athletes.
With good looks and an easy smile, he was a sponsors' dream,
but since Steenkamp's killing the accounts of his behaviour
have revealed a dark side to his carefully groomed media