During the cross-examination of Oscar state prosecutor Gerrie Nel got Oscar to admit the following:
Now let us take it one step further, if that photograph that we see there, photograph 55, if that is the way it was that morning, your version cannot be true. --- That is correct, M'Lady. (Record 1741, Lines 23–25)
Now let’s look at the events leading up to the taking of this photo.
Colonel Schoombie van Rensburg was the fist police officer on the scene arriving there at about 03:45 accompanied by a Constable Prinsloo. He found a very emotional Oscar in the kitchen and asked him what happened. Oscar wasn’t able to answer Van Rensburg. It was Ms Carice Stander who told Van Rensburg that Oscar told them that he thought Reeva was an intruder.
Van Rensburg instructed Constable Prinsloo to secure the scene and to control all people entering and exiting the scene.
Warrant Officer Hilton Botha then arrived.
Up to this point the only people that have been upstairs after the shooting incident was Oscar Pistorius and Carice Stander. Ms Stander went upstairs to fetch towels and plastic bags – as well as to check up on Oscar when he went to fetch Reeva’s handbag.
Together Van Rensburg and Botha followed the blood trail upstairs and made their way to Oscar’s bedroom.
When presented with Photograph 55 in court Van Rensburg testified that it shows how he found the bedroom:
MR NEL: Now that view of the bedroom, can you still remember that as the view you got the day you entered? --- Dit is korrek, U Edele. Translation: That is correct, M'Lady. --- Dit is soos hy was. Translation: That is as it was. (Record 774, Lines 2–5)
On Oscar’s version Colonel van Rensburg committed perjury here.
Van Rensburg and Botha completed their preliminary observations and went downstairs to wait for the police photographer to arrive. When the photographer WO van Staden arrived he went upstairs with Van Rensburg and Botha.
From Van Rensburg’s testimony:
--- M'Lady, we then took the photographer to the upper level, to the bathroom. If you say ‘we took him up’, who are you referring to? --- It was myself and Mr Botha, Warrant Officer Botha. Were you only three? --- It was just the three of us, M'Lady. And what did you do upstairs? --- We first pointed out the global points of the scene to him, as well as several points we wanted him to concentrate on at the scene. I then gave him the order to photograph the scene. (Record 798, Lines 14–21)
Van Staden then proceeded to take the photos alone:
And whilst Warrant Officer van Staden was busy taking photographs upstairs, did anybody else have access to the (interpreter intervenes) --- No, M'Lady, he was busy taking photo’s alone and at some stage Botha and I did proceed to the upper level. TOLK: Om wat te doen? (to do what?) --- Just to make sure that we also have all the evidence that was needed to be guarded.
W/O van Staden started taking photographs of Oscar and the from the front of the house he slowly worked his way upstairs to take Photo 55 at 5:58 am.
After securing the crime scene one of the first steps of processing a crime scene is to conduct an assessment of the crime scene – in order to determine, for example, the type of crime scene and the resources that may be required to conduct the crime scene investigation. Part of this assessment is a careful crime scene “walk through”. This is what Van Rensburg and Botha did – they walked through the crime scene and did a preliminary investigation before passing the scene over to Van Staden in order to document the crime scene by taking photographs. They were following a standard crime scene investigation process. A very important rule is that during these early crime scene walks, preliminary investigations and initial photography that investigators do not contaminate or disturb the crime scene.
The question that Oscar and the defence had not been able to answer is – why would Van Rensburg, Botha and/or Van Staden all risk their careers to against all rules and basic protocol move things around the crime scene before documentation? Then have it photographed – and then lie about it? For what reason? Remember that at the time when Photo 55 was taken the police did not yet know Oscar’s version – and Oscar admitted as much. All that they knew was that Oscar thought that Reeva was an intruder. The police did not know what important role the position of the fans would play in Oscar’s version. Where did the police get the foresight from to move the fans around to mess with Oscar’s version?
We are not talking here about a careless bumping and a minor shift in an object position – we are talking about picking things up – moving them, dropping them – even going as far as unplugging a fan.
In our book Oscar vs The Truth we analyze the state of Oscar’s bedroom in detail. We look at the blood marks on the duvet, the position of the jeans, the fans and their cables – where Oscar said he moved them to and where the police said they found the fans etc. and we can only conclude that Oscar’s version is impossible – a lie. There is simply no evidence that the police manipulated the scene in the way Oscar said they did.
And if the police did not manipulate the scene – then by his own admission his version is false.
In Oscar vs The Truth we digitally reconstructed the room back to as Oscar said it was (i.e. as it would have been according to him, e.g. the duvet on the bed, the fans in the positions he moved them to, etc.) and then compared that image with the police photos in order to show what the police “must have done” to change the crime scene: i.e. unplug the small fan, move both fans, throw the duvet on the floor where the big fan was, open the curtains widely, etc. This visual comparison shows how bizarre this accusation by Oscar is.