Screams could not have been Reeva’s

Judge Thokozile Masipa delivers her judgement in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial at the High Court in Pretoria on Thursday, 11 September 2014. Picture: Phill Magakoe/Independent Newspapers/ Pool

The screams heard on the night that Oscar Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp could not have been hers, Judge Thokozile Masipa said on Thursday, delivering her verdict in the murder trial of the paralympian.

“Steenkamp did not breathe for more than a few seconds after she was shot. She could not have screamed,” Masipa said in the High Court in Pretoria.

Masipa said it was common cause that screams were heard from Pistorius house that night. The screams heard shortly after shots and before sounds of a bat could not have been Steenkamp. Only Pistorius could have screamed.

Michelle Burger and her husband Charl Johnson gave similar testimonies that they had been woken up by a women screaming for help on the night Steenkamp was killed, which was followed by a man screaming “help, help, help”.

Burger testified for the State that she heard the “blood-curdling screams” of a woman the night of the shooting.

At the time, she and her husband lived in a housing complex neighbouring the Silwer Wood estate where Oscar shot dead Reeva in a toilet cubicle in his house on February 14 last year.

In his cross-examination, Barry Roux, SC, for Pistorius, argued that the couple’s testimony was so similar that Johnson’s statement could have been used as a “template” for Burger’s.

Masipa agreed with the defence that Burger and Johnson’s evidence was “unreliable”, and dismissed their evidence in its entirety.

She said Burger and Johnson were “not dishonest”, they were “genuinely mistaken”. Burger was the witness who heard a woman’s screams.

Before Masipa adjourned for a short tea break she dealt with witness testimony and timeline, Steenkamp’s stomach content and defence evidence.

Follow Rekord on Twitter for live Tweets from the courtroom. Be sure to also like our Facebook page.

Natalie Grobler
Online journalist

find your
dream home

looking for an

List your Property

It's easy in only three
simple steps...

find professional
services in
your area

Locate a business
operating in
your area

List your Business

Want more customers? They're online right now, searching for businesses like yours. Place your ad now...

Latest News


Next Story x
Mamelodi residents turn to police for help with municipal service fees

Thanx for your referral. We have no doubt your friends will love our newsletter as much as you!

Don't forget to verify your email.

to our FREE newsletter
SUBSCRIBE to our FREE newsletter.

SELECT your titles:

Centurion Rekord
Rekord East
Rekord Moot
Rekord North

Your details:

Your friends:

I didn't sign up for this
I'd like to see and read more... (Please indicate in comments section below)
I'm relocating (Please indicate where to)