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Can Reeva Steenkamp's 'I love you' letter save Oscar Pistorius?

Paralympian reads out emotional V-Day card from slain girlfriend in bid to save himself

Pretoria: Oscar Pistorius's girlfriend said she loved him in a Valentine's Day card on the day she died, his murder trial heard yesterday as the sprinter's gruelling cross-examination ended.

South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius reacts during his trial at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria yesterday. Pic/AFP
South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius reacts during his trial at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria yesterday. Pic/AFP 

The Paralympian read out in court the words in a card Reeva Steenkamp would have given him with a gift on February 14 last year, the day he fired four shots through a locked toilet door that killed her.

"She said 'I think today is a good day to tell you that I love you,'" the 27-year-old double amputee sprinter read from the card.

"The envelope says 'Ozzie', with some hearts and a squiggle, and it says on the front of the card: 'roses are red, violets are blue,'" he said, his voice growing faint after five days of cross-examination.

'You killed a person!'
"You made a mistake? You killed a person, that's what you did!" thundered prosecution lawyer Gerrie Nel on fifth day of cross-examination.

"You shot and killed her, won't you take responsibility for that?" Nel continued five days of questions in a similar vein, picking at inconsistencies between Pistorius's evidence in court and his lengthy bail application.

"You are thinking of a version constantly and not dealing with the question," he said. "It's getting more and more improbable and you're tailoring more and more as we go on."

Conflicting account
The initial questioning claimed the couple argued before the shooting, which is why neighbours heard "blood-curdling screams."

"They heard that when she escaped from you," said Nel. "She was locked in the bathroom and you armed yourself with the sole purpose of shooting and killing her," he added, accusing Pistorius of shouting at Steenkamp "get the **** out of my house."

"You shot four shots through the door whilst knowing she was behind the door," Nel claimed. Earlier, legal teams for the prosecution and the defence both called for a two week adjournment beginning on Friday.

The proposal would see court resume on May 5.

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