The Oscar Pictorius Trial in Pretoria High Court has reached its climax as the blade runner himself was set to stand in the witness box Friday and give his version of the entire story that has grabbed overwhelming international attention ever since model Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead on Valentine's Day last year.
But the Trial had to be postponed will April 7, since one of the assessors assisting the judge has been taken ill.
The highly anticipated trial of Pistorius, often referred to as the 'trial of the century', began earlier this month. The six-time sprint champion has pleaded not guilty to murdering his girlfriend.
The 27-year-old faces murder charges for shooting his girlfriend - the 29-year-old South African model Steenkamp - on Valantine's Day last year.
The double amputee, better known around the world as 'the blade runner', has argued that Steenkamp's death was an accident, and that he had mistaken her for an intruder breaking into his house from the toilet.
But when he stands on the witness box himself, which will most likely take plane on April 7, it be the crucial phase of the trial as the fallen hero's emotional state will be tested as he will be asked to explain to a packed courtroom in Pretoria and live TV viewers around the world, why on the fateful day 13 months ago, he repeatedly fired into a locked toilet cubicle knowing that there was a human being inside.
Following are some of the likely questions he must answer on the day:
- Was Pistorius' relationship with Steenkamp in trouble and was he abusive?
Although there appears to be no motive for a premeditated murder, there was evidence of turbulence in Pistorius' four-month relationship with the South African model. WhatsApp messages between them showed that he was seemingly jealous, possessive and prone to anger.
"I'm scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me. You do everything to throw tantrums. I am certainly very unhappy and sad," one of the late model's messages read.
- Why did Pistorius shoot in toilet without warning?
Pistorius is said to be fully aware of the lawful and unlawful use of potentially lethal force against intruders. Irrespective of who was in the toilet, he should have warned before shooting.
More importantly he might struggle to prove that his life was really in danger when he shot four times through the locked door.
- Did they argue before the shooting took place?
This is likely to be a central question to prove the 'intent'. Pistorius had claimed that the couple was in his bedroom by 10pm. But according to evidence from pathologist Gert Saayman, the food found in Steenkamp's stomach suggested she was awake and was eating at 1am.
Other questions that will likely to be asked are:
- Why did Pistorius continue to fire even after he heard screams from a woman?
- Was Pistorius wearing his prosthetic limbs when he tried to break down the toilet door with a cricket bat?
- Is Pistorius reckless with guns?