The trial of the century continues.
Blade Runner, Oscar Pistorius’ girlfriend told him “I’m scared of you sometimes,” less than three weeks before he shot and killed her at his home, a court heard on Monday.
Intimate messages extracted from model and law graduate, Reeva Steenkamp’s phone revealed her complaining to the Olympic and Paralympic sprinter about how they were in a double standard relationship plagued by his jealous tantrums.
The high court in Pretoria, South Africa sat in complete silence as Steenkamp’s words were heard in the case for the first time. Pistorius, who is accused of murdering the 29-year-old blonde beauty on Valentine’s day last year, sobbed in the dock as his tempestuous romance with Steenkamp was exposed in unsparing detail to his family and her mother and friends.
“You have picked on me excessively … I do everything to make you happy and you do everything to throw tantrums,” said a WhatsApp message sent by Steenkamp to Pistorius on January 27th, 2013. “I’m scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me and of how you will react to me.”
“You make me happy 90% of the time and I think we are amazing together … but I am not some other b*tch … trying to kill your vibe … I’m the girl who fell in love with you but I’m also the girl who gets side-stepped when you are in a sh*t mood … I get snapped at and told my accent and voices are annoying.”
Police mobile phone expert Francois Moller read out the messages to the court on the 14th day of the high-profile trial. Pistorius denies murder, claiming he shot through a locked toilet door four times because he thought he heard an intruder.
The messages revealed Steenkamp disliked Pistorius’s jealousy: “We are living in a double standard relationship. Every five seconds I hear about how you dated another chick. You really have dated a lot of people yet you get upset if I mention one funny story with a long-term boyfriend.”
In one incident, Steenkamp was upset about being forced to leave a friend’s engagement party prematurely. “I was not flirting with anyone today. I feel sick that you suggested it … I am terribly disappointed how the day ended.”
Pistorius wrote back: “I want to talk to you. I want to sort this out. I don’t want to have anything less than amazing for you and I’m sorry for the things I saw without thinking and for taking offence to some of your actions.”
He said that his illness that day was not “an excuse”, adding : “I was upset that you just left me after we got food to go talk to a guy and I was standing right behind you watching you touch his arm and ignore me, and when I spoke up you introduced me which you could’ve done but when I left you just kept on chatting to him when clearly I was upset.”
The couple, who had been dating for a few months, had a further argument when they attended a function and Steenkamp felt publicly humiliated. She wrote: “I completely understood your desperation to leave and thought I would be helping you by getting to the exit before you because I can’t rush in the heels I was wearing. I thought it would make a difference in us getting out without you being harassed anymore. I didn’t think you would criticise me for doing that, especially not so loudly that others could hear.”
She continued: “I might joke around and be all tomboyish at times but I regard myself as a lady and I didn’t feel like one tonight after the way you treated me when we left. I’m a person too and I appreciate that you invited me out tonight and I realise that you get harassed but I am trying my best to make you happy and I feel as though you sometimes never are, no matter the effort I put in.
“I can’t be attacked by outsiders for dating you and be attacked by you, the one person I deserve protection from.”
In another conversation on January 19th, Steenkamp wrote to Pistorius:”Baba … There are a lot of things that could make both of us feel like sh*t … I’m just very honest … I won’t always think before I say something. Just appreciate that I’m not a liar.”
Steenkamp had been away filming a reality TV series called Tropica Island of Treasure. Pistorius wrote back: “I know. It was just when you got back from Tropica you made it sound like you had only smoked weed once and then last night that came out. I don’t know how many times you took it or if you took other things or what you did when you were on them.”
Steenkamp said: “I’m sorry if it upset you. It wasn’t my intention.”
Pistorius replied: “I do appreciate it. Could never be with someone that was.”
Steenkamp sent another message: “I wasn’t a stripper or a ho.”
Despite the evidence of a volatile relationship, Moller said: “Ninety percent [of all the messages] were normal conversations and loving conversations.”
The court also heard messages in which Pistorius appeared to confirm allegations that he asked a friend, Darren Fresco, to take the blame when a gun went off in a restaurant. “Angel please don’t say a thing to any one, Darren told everyone it was his fault … I can’t afford for that to come out. The guys promised not to say a thing.”
Moller told the court that he had been able to extract some 35,645 pages worth of messages from Steenkamp’s phone and the evidence was hailed as unprecedented in South African legal history.
The case continues.