PRETORIA: Paralympian Oscar Pistorius’s defence team sought yesterday to show that the double-amputee sprinter feels highly vulnerable and acted out of fear not anger when he shot dead his girlfriend.
Pistorius has a “split personality”, defence lawyer Kenny Oldwadge told the court. There are “two Oscars”, he said — a world-class athlete and a highly vulnerable individual with a serious disability.
Oldwadge was reading from a psychological report on Pistorius, who underwent 30 days of psychiatric examination before his trial resumed on Monday. Lawyers defending the 27-year-old on charges that he deliberately shot and killed model Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year are calling their final witnesses.
Medical expert Wayne Derman testified that Pistorius, known as the Blade Runner for his J-shaped prosthetic limbs, was not always the fearless superhero depicted in sports advertisements.
“Although he loathes to be pitied in any way, the hard truth is that he does not have lower legs,” said Derman, chief medical officer of the South African Paralympic Team at the London Olympic Games in 2012. “You’ve got a paradox,” he said, “of an individual who is supremely able and an individual who is significantly disabled.”
During five months of the stop-start trial, Pistorius’s lawyers have sought to portray him as manically obsessed with safety after a difficult childhood with a mother who intermittently abused alcohol and in the face of high crime levels in South Africa. AFP