The parole officer who recommended correctional supervision for paralympian Oscar Pistorius worked on the matter in her private capacity, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Tuesday.
“It will be the defence that will pay you for this work done?” prosecutor Gerrie Nel asked Annette Vergeer during cross-examination.
“That is in fact so, My Lady,” she replied, standing in the witness stand.
She was testifying during sentencing proceedings for Pistorius.
On September 12 Judge Thokozile Masipa found Pistorius guilty of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend, model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp, but not guilty of her murder.
Pistorius had claimed he thought there was a burglar in his toilet when he fired four shots through the locked door in the early hours of February 14 last year, killing Steenkamp. The State had argued he killed her during an argument.
Vergeer told Nel she worked for the State and had a private practice.
She earlier told the court Pistorius should get three years of correctional supervision and community service for the killing.
Nel then asked her about a line in her report, which she compiled for the defence and read to the court earlier: “The accused has accepted responsibility for his actions within his framework.”
Nel wanted to know what she meant by “within his framework”.
After several minutes of back and forth discussion and Masipa intervening, Vergeer said: “That he fired shots through the toilet door because he thought there was an intruder… not because he intended to shoot and kill her.”
During the exchange Steenkamp’s cousin Kim Martins sighed audibly and looked up at the ceiling.
Masipa also found Pistorius guilty of discharging a firearm in public, when he shot from his friend Darren Fresco’s Glock pistol under a table at Tasha’s restaurant in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, in January 2013.
Pistorius was found not guilty on two firearms-related charges – illegal possession of ammunition, and shooting through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein on September 30, 2012.