Oscar Pistorius

Pistorius introduced Reeva Steenkamp as fiancée a week before shooting, murder trial told

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 May, 2014, 9:47pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 May, 2014, 9:47pm

Oscar Pistorius introduced Reeva Steenkamp as his fiancee just a week before he shot her, a close neighbour of the runner testified in his defence yesterday.

Michael Nhlengethwa, who describes himself as Pistorius' "closest neighbour", said the athlete introduced the 29-year-old model to him shortly before her death early on Valentine's Day morning last year.

Pistorius said, "Please meet my fiancee, Reeva," Nhlengethwa said. Pistorius claims he and his girlfriend of three months were in a loving relationship and that he shot her accidentally after mistaking her for an intruder.

He faces up to 25 years in prison if found guilty of premeditated murder.

On the night of the shooting, Nhlengethwa said he woke up to the sound of a man crying.

"A man was crying very loud," he said. "It was crying when you were in danger, when you need help. It was a very high-pitch voice." The defence claims that Steenkamp never screamed the night she was shot four times, alleging it was Pistorius screaming "like a woman" under the effect of stress.

The sprinter fired four bullets through a lavatory door, killing Steenkamp who was in the cubicle inside his house in a housing complex in the capital Pretoria.

Prosecutors have argued that the Valentine's Day shooting came after a row between the couple.

The case continues.