Double amputee and Paralympian Oscar Pistorius explained for the first time in a TV interview what happened on the night he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of February 14 2013.
In an interview screened by MNet’s Carte Blanche that was initially screened by UK commercial TV station ITV on Friday night‚ Pistorius explained the events leading up to the shooting.
He explained he had arrived with Steenkamp to spend the night at his Pretoria house on February 13.
“I parked my car in the driveway. You could see she was very excited.”
Pistorius explained that after having supper‚ they went to his bedroom to lie down and watch TV.
He said he took his legs off and asked Steenkamp to lock the balcony doors in the bedroom and switch off the TV as he was about to sleep.
Pistorius said it must have been shortly after 3am when he woke up and realised Steenkamp had not closed off the doors on the balcony to the bedroom.
“I closed the doors. By this point … Reeva was next to me. I heard this noise coming from the bathroom.”
Pistorius said he knew “they” had broken into a house not far from his recently.
He said his first instinct was that he should grab his firearm.
“I get my firearm and said to Reeva: ‘Call the police and get down on the floor.’ I am sweating and overcome with fear. I entered into passage and said ‘Get out of my house’.”
He said at that moment‚ he heard the toilet door slam.
Pistorius said he did not have a time to get his prosthetic legs on.
“I could see the toilet door and I knew someone was in my house. Before I knew I had fired four shots. At the point I could not hear whether Reeva was replying.”
Pistorius said he went to the bed and got a chill when he saw Steenkamp was not in bed.
“I get down to the door and found I could not see her. I put my hand behind curtains and she was not there.”
Pistorius said he rushed on his stumps back to the bathroom and found that the door was locked.
“I run back to my room and trying to put my legs as fast as I could. I am screaming ‘Jesus please do not let this be’.”
Pistorius said he then ran back to the bedroom where he got a cricket bat and started smashing through the door.
“I opened the toilet door and immediately when I saw Reeva she was over the toilet. She had slumped over the toilet and at point I knew I had killed her and I knew that she was dead. I went down on my knees and pulled her on to me.”
Pistorius said he heard Steenkamp breathing and tried to give her mouth to mouth resuscitation but there was so much blood.
In explaining what he thought had happened‚ Pistorius said Steenkamp must have gone to the bathroom to relieve herself.
“When I shouted at her (to call the police)‚ she must have thought someone was coming to her and she locked the bathroom.”
Pistorius denied that he had an argument with Steenkamp and said he was not aggressive to women.
When asked why he carried a gun‚ Pistorius said when he grew up‚ his father was hijacked and his brother had been attacked.
“I don’t know anybody in SA who has been affected by crime. It is the reality that we live in.”
Pistorius also explained that he had about nine or 11 firearms and that he had also ordered a semi automatic assault rifle.
“The 9mm I had was the only gun I kept at home. All the other guns I kept at the shooting range.”
When asked to explain findings by the courts that he was a poor witness‚ Pistorius said when he testified‚ he had been in court for close to 30 days and he had been taking medication for anxiety.
Pistorius was convicted by the high court in Pretoria of culpable homicide in 2014 and sentenced to five years in prison for the killing.
Pistorius served just over a year of the sentence before being released on parole last year.
The culpable homicide conviction was set aside and replaced with that of murder by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in December last year.
Pistorius will be sentenced for the murder conviction on July 6.