Did Oscar lie about the small fan?

Oscar Pistorius has many fans. Some of them are very dedicated and loyal – some even calling him “perfect” and “divine”. But there is one fan that for sure tells us that Oscar lied during his testimony – and that would be the small fan – one of the two fans that Oscar supposedly was in the process of moving when Reeva supposedly got up from bed and slipped to the toilet without him seeing or hearing her.

Let’s start with the Bail Affidavit – in which there was no mention of the small fan. He only talked about one fan, the big fan, and it was outside on the balcony. In his plea statement and testimony this all suddenly changed to two fans, both being inside the room.

From Page 64 of the Bail Affidavit:

During the early morning hours of 14 February 2013, I woke up and went onto the balcony to bring the fan in and closed the sliding doors, the blinds and the curtains. I heard a noise in the bathroom and realised that somebody was in the bathroom. (our emphasis added throughout)

Oscar during his Evidence-in-Chief:

--- I open the doors of the balcony. From my main room there is a small balcony. I opened the sliding doors onto the balcony.  I placed ... there is two fans. There is a steel tripod stand fan and there is a small plastic fan. A floor fan. I placed the tripod fan a bit further back with one of the legs on the balcony and the other two legs inside the sliding door. I placed the small fan pretty much between the legs of the larger fan, the tripod standing fan. I then closed the doors till they more or less in line with the fans because at night, there is a light on the balcony that attracts insects and they come into my room. So I was trying to get most of the humid warm air out of the room, by having the fans there, they pulled the cool air from outside into the room. I drew the blinds and the curtains so that no bugs could come in from the outside and I had them more or less draped around the side of the standing fan. (Record 1461, Lines 20–26  & Record 1462 Lines 1–7)

A more detailed explanation of how he placed the fan:

--- My Lady, the fans are different. They are not the same. The one is a tripod standing fan, has got three legs, tripod. It is a stainless steel fan. It is about waist height. I put the one leg out onto the tiles of the balcony and I put two of the legs on ... inside the room. So the fan was more or less in the ... more or less in the middle of the doors. The floor fan I put in between the two legs of the standing fan, so it would have been slightly forward, so it would have been on the carpet in the bedroom. (Record 1521, Lines 7–14)

That both fans were running was confirmed a short while later:

--- I woke up, M'Lady in the early hours of the 14th February. It was extremely warm in my room. I sat up in bed. I noticed that the fans were still running and that the door was still open. (Record 1469, Lines 13–15).

And again:

I took the small fan, the floor fan, I placed it pretty much just inside the room and I took the bigger tripod fan and I took it by the part just underneath the fan and I placed it in the bedroom. The fans were still running. they were still running at the time and I then proceeded to close the sliding doors and lock them. (Record 1469, Lines 19–25)
There next to your vest, if we could perhaps zoom in, in there. No ... My Lady, may I just point out to ... higher up. May I just ... there we go. What is that? I mean ... not the iPad, next to it on the stand? ---  It is a hair clipper, My Lady.

So you have that hair clipper next to your bed? You had it there? --- I am not sure if it was there, My Lady. In another photo it was ... the hair clipper was on the floor but not on the stand. It is possible that it could have been there. I plug it in to that extension cord to charge. So it is possible that it could have been.

Okay. So you plug that in to charge and that extension cord is also where you plugged in the fan? --- That is correct, My Lady.

And you are convinced of that? --- The fans are plugged into the extension cord that is ... behind the bed on the right hand side of the bed there is a plug. I am not sure what is plugged in there. I am not sure if it is a double plug. I know that the extension cord is ... that is where the power source was for the extension cord.

Ja, no, that is, but [intervenes] --- I think [intervenes]

We can see it there, that white cable there, that is the extension cord’s cable? --- That is correct, My Lady.

So and you plug the fans into that extension cord? --- I plugged the fans into that extension cord, My Lady. I am not sure if the clipper was plugged into that extension cord, or if it was plugged into the two prong plug which is behind the headboard, but that was usually where I plugged it in, next to my bed.

At this point it seems that Oscar remembers quite vividly and clearly that he plugged both fans into the extension cord. He is less certain about the hair clipper – but is quite clear that the extension cord was the place where he normally plugs in the hair clipper.

Oscar was also clear that he didn’t unplug any of the fans that evening.

... --- I never unplugged any fan on my version, My Lady. (Record 1550, Line 20)

To recap to this point – on Oscar’s (changed) version there were two fans – by the open balcony door – both were working and both were plugged in at the extension cord. After moving the fans he did not unplug any of them. Of all these things up to this point he is fairly certain of.

The power bar has space for 2 two-prong plugs and for 2 three-prong plugs. Unlike many North American and European countries in South Africa a two pin plug cannot be used on a three-hole socket.

What we see above is the power bar as the police found it at about 06:00 – with the hairclipper and big fan plugged into it. There is NO SPACE for the small fan’s plug.

Read what happens when Advocate Gerrie Nel confronted Oscar about this:

So and you plug the fans into that extension cord? --- I plugged the fans into that extension cord, My Lady. I am not sure if the clipper was plugged into that extension cord, or if it was plugged into the two prong plug which is behind the headboard, but that was usually where I plugged it in, next to my bed.

No, you are right. Can we just go down and just show Mr Pistorius that he is ... you see there the clipper is plugged in and the fan? Do you see that? --- I see that, My Lady.

There is only one problem with that, Mr Pistorius, do you see the problem? --- I do not, My Lady.

There is no other place for the other fan. --- The other fan, My Lady, if you look at the police photos was on the side of the room where the TV cabinet is. There is a plug behind the TV cabinet where the fan could have been plugged in. I do not recall [intervenes]

In our book Oscar vs The Truth we use a scale plan of the bedroom to show that if the small fan stood where Oscar said he placed it, the cord would have been too short to reach the plug behind the TV cabinet. We work with actual measurements and are not guessing.

Could have been? --- If I may just finish please. I do not remember which fan which plugged in at which power point.

Now he all of a sudden can’t remember where he plugged in the fans while just a minute or two before he was quite certain he plugged them both into the extension cord.

We continue with Oscar gasping for air as he tries to diffuse the situation by trying his hand at some classic misdirection:

My Lady, I had three fans. I had two floor fans and I had one standing fan. A friend of mine came to visit me in January. I lent him one of the fans for his room downstairs. So there were two fans in my room. I cannot be certain as to this plug was ... if this fan was plugged in here and the other fan was plugged in where ever. But as far as I remembered it both the fans were plugged into this power source. I am not sure if it had been ... if I had tripped over the cord on the way to open the balcony door, or if the fan was plugged in the other side. I do not have an independent recollection of where the fan was plugged in.

So maybe he tripped over the small fan’s cord and pulled it out? From where? Not from the extension cord – there were no space – or from behind the TV cabinet which were too far away? From where?

One thing we know is, you said before I showed you the specific plug, you said “both fans were plugged in there”. That is what you said? Am I right, today? --- I do not recall it, My Lady, but if Mr Nel says that that is so, then I believe him.

Why can you not recall it? It happened two minutes ago. When we started you said, “both fans were plugged into the extension cord.” Now you want to say that you cannot remember. Why? --- My Lady, my memory is not very good at the moment. I am under a lot of pressure sitting here. It is not easy. I am defending for my life and I have ... if I tell the truth and you ask me five minutes later again what I asked ... what you asked me, I will probably tell you the same thing because I am not trying to lie. If I say I do not have an independent recollection of where the fan was plugged in, for something so insignificant as to where the fan was plugged in, all I can say is that the fans were both on.

It is not so insignificant, Mr Pistorius. It will show that you are lying and it is very significant. --- I understand the point that it is significant, My Lady. It is a significant thing, but the act of plugging in a fan and putting a fan on, a year and a half ago, I cannot remember.

But one thing we can agree on you and me, is that that fan was not plugged into that extension? --- I do not know if I can agree with that, My Lady.

Is it possible that it was? --- It is possible that it was, My Lady. I am not sure if [intervenes]

Is it probable that it was? In all probability you would have plugged it in there? --- I am not sure where I would have plugged it in. I know that both the fans were running, My Lady.

Are you telling the court that your other fan’s cord is long enough to go in between the legs of that one from the power source in the corner of the room? --- My Lady, I do not ... I have not thought about where I plugged in what fan. I know that both the fans were working. So they were ... if the fan’s length of the one cord is not long enough to fit in a power source, then it is obvious that both of them were in the extension cord.

The “other fan” here is the small fan. Also note only the length of the small fan’s power cord is under discussion here – NOT the length of the extension cord. It is a fact that the small fan’s cord was too short to reach any wall plug – so according to Oscar it must have been plugged into the extension chord. But it wasn’t!

Yes. Yes. Let us do that. Now can we just go to the other photograph please. This My Lady, will be 187 and 56. I apologise My Lady, it is 61.

Photo 61

COURT: 61?

MR NEL: Yes, My Lady. Now can you see that power ... the plug of that fan? --- I can see the plug of the fan, My Lady.

It is a two point plug? --- That is correct, My Lady.

That was not plugged into the extension, because there is no place to put it in. --- I see it has got a very long cord, My Lady, but as I said I do not remember which power source it was plugged into.

As anyone can see for themselves – it is not a very long cord – not long enough to reach any wall plug, and this is/was actually provable.

No, but no, no. That is not the answer, Mr ... that is not an answer to my question. The question is, do you agree that was not plugged into the extension? --- My Lady, I have said I do not remember which plug was ... which fan was plugged in which power source. I remember them both being plugged in at the extension.

Let us [intervenes] --- That was the reason for having the extension was because the cords were not long enough to reach the wall. So I had an extension for that reason. So as far as I can remember and what would make logical sense to me, is that the fans were plugged in. This is not where I moved the fan that evening. I do not walk and put the fan in the corner of the room with the plug out. So I cannot say if the plug was plugged in at an extension power source, or at the wall behind this cabinet.

The contradictions continue. Immediately after admitting that the cords were not long enough to reach the wall – he said that the small fan could have been plugged in at the wall behind the cabinet. How?

I see. --- But what I can say is that this was not where I left the fan.

Let us just go back to the previous photograph and just zoom into the plug on the extension cord. You see? There is no way that another double plug can be plugged in there. It is two, three-point plug that is available, nothing else. Do you agree with me? --- I agree that … [No audio 14:41:14] ... My Lady, the time of this photo it would be impossible to put another two prong plug into that adaptor, because ... or the two spots that there seem to be available, are both taken. I agree with that.

Oscar just agreed that there was no space in the extension cord for the small fan.

But then you are lying. Then that other fan was never plugged in there or on, or used that day. --- My Lady, I can simply say I remember [No audio 14:41:41] both of the plugs being plugged in there, if I am not [indistinct] the one plug is [indistinct] another [indistinct] that [indistinct]

But you see unfortunately I have to just deal with this a little further. The other fan, if you never unplugged the other fan on your version ... --- I never unplugged any fan on my version, My Lady. It is possible that when I ran to the balcony to call for help, that I tripped over a fan cord. It is possible that I pushed the fan aside. I do not have a memory of moving the fans.

Note that not once did Oscar accuse the police of unplugging the small fan, or changing and moving plugs around. This line of questioning about the small fan must have caught Oscar by surprise – therefore he did not have prepared answers to give – like blaming the police for anything that contradicts his version. It is clear that Oscar was treading a lot of water here and it is such pity that Judge Masipa did not get what Nel was trying do show here – the significance being that even Oscar admitted that if he did not move the fans, then his whole version is not true.


In Oscar vs The Truth we are going into much more detail and show how Oscar’s version of moving the fans simply cannot be true, based on hard measurable evidence. We also look at the extension cord and show why it was most certainly not 5 m long and why it is not really of much significance. We digitally reconstruct the room to show how the room would have looked like if he somehow plugged the fans in where he said he did, and show how difficult if not impossible it would have been for him to move around in the “pitch dark” room without tripping over the cords and/or without bumping the fans over. We also show (considering his version) that the room would not have been pitch dark, as the balcony light was on and there were gaps under and on the sides of the curtains, where some light would have entered the room.

Order Oscar vs the Truth at mollettmedia.com