DESTINY spoke to practicing attorney at the High Court Sarel Hay about the strength of Pistorius’ defence.
“Obviously Pistorius doesn’t have to give evidence, but given the number of witnesses who testified on the case on what they heard, it is important that he testifies as he is the only person who can say what happened on that night,” Hay said, adding the real issue in the case is not whether Pistorius shot his girlfriend, but his motive and intent.
“His testimony is the most important testimony in the whole trial,” Hay says.
While Pistorius’ legal team will prepare him before he takes the stand, Hay says the paralympian will not have an easy time testifying.
On Tuesday, Pistorius defence team said they had no other choice but to allow him to testify. “I don’t think we have a choice. The question is when,” a member of Pistorius’ legal team, Brian Webber, told journalists after the athlete’s murder trial was postponed to Friday.
But will Pistorius be able to handle the pressure? Since trial began Pistorius has struggled to control his emotions. At one point when pictures of Steenkamp’s body were accidentally shown in court, Pistorius cried and retched.
He also broke down when cellphone messages exchanged between him and Steenkamp were revealed in court this week.
The State wants to prove that Pistorius planned to kill Steenkamp and did not accidentally kill her thinking she was an intruder, as he claims.
Pistorius is accused of killing Steenkamp on 14 February 2013. He also faces two charges of disarming a firearm in a public place and one of contravening the firearms act. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Additional sources: Sapa