Nel: Steenkamp was hit three times

The prosecution in the Oscar Pristorius murder trial has put it to the court that the defendant hit Reeva Steenkamp three times on the morning that she died.

During Tuesday's bail proceedings, the state alleged that Pristorius had deliberately fired four shots into the door of a small bathroom, where his girlfriend had been cowering after the two had been engaged in a 'shouting match' on Valentine's Day. Nel says three of those shots hit Steenkamp.

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel also confirmed that Pristorius would be charged with premeditated murder, which is a schedule six offence in South Africa.

In a schedule six offence, bail is seldom granted, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

"She couldn't go anywhere. You can run nowhere," said Nel, at the bail hearing on Tuesday.

Nel said the couple had had a shouting match and Steenkamp fled to the bathroom, down a seven-metre passage from the bedroom, and locked herself in.

He added that the 26-year-old Pistorius got up from bed and had to put on his prosthetic legs to reach the toilet door. Nel told the court the door was broken open after the shots were fired.

It has also previously been reported that neighbours had heard a loud altercation in the Pristorius household, before shots were fired.

At the Pretoria Court, Nel said the killing was premeditated because Pistorius had planned to say that he thought he was shooting an intruder, and had told that story to his sister, Aimee.

"It was all part of the pre-planning. Why would a burglar lock himself inside the bathroom?" asked Nel.

"The shooting happened at Pistorius' home in a guarded and gated community in a luxury suburb of Pretoria."

However, Pristorius' lawyer Barry Roux insists there is no sufficient evidence to prove that this is a case of premeditated murder. He disputed the allegation that his client Pristorius had intended to kill his girlfriend.

"Was it to kill her, or was it to get her out?" Roux asked the court, making particular reference to the incident with the door that was broken down.

"We submit it is not even murder. There is no concession this is a murder," added Roux.

On a day when there had been considerable grieving - there was a private memorial service for Steenkamp in Port Elizabeth - Pristorius himself couldn't hold back his emotions.

The result was that his attorney was forced to read out Pristorius' affidavit, detailing his account of what had happened on that fateful morning.

The defendant's statement contradicted that of the prosecution.

Central to his arguement during the bail application, is that Pristorius insists that he shot his girlfriend to death by mistake; having laboured under the misapprehension that she was in fact an intruder.

In the affidavit, read out by his lawyer, Pristorius says that he had felt vulnerable because he did not have on his prosthetic legs when he pumped bullets into the locked bathroom door.

Then he realized that model Reeva Steenkamp was not in his bed.

He put on his legs, tried to kick down the door, then bashed it in with a cricket bat to find Steenkamp, 29, shot inside.

He said he ran downstairs with her, but "She died in my arms."

Legal experts say it could take months for the case to be tried.

Excerpt from Pristorius' affidavit

"By about 2200 on February 13 we were in our bedroom. She was doing yoga exercises and I was in bed watching television. My prosthetic legs were off. We were deeply in love and I could not be happier.

I have received death threats before. I have also been a victim of violence and burglaries before. For that reason I kept my firearm - a 9 mm Parabellum - underneath my bed when I went to bed at night.

During the early morning hours of 14 February 2013 I woke up, 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 realized someone was in the bathroom.

I felt a sense of terror rushing over me. There were no burglar bars across the bathroom window and I knew contractors who worked at my house had left the ladders outside. Although I did not have my prosthetics legs on, I have mobility on my stumps.

I believed someone had entered my house. I was too scared to switch a light on. I grabbed my 9 mm pistol from underneath my bed.

On my way to the bathroom I screamed words to the effect for him/them to get out of my house and for Reeva to phone the police. It was pitch dark in the bedroom and I thought Reeva was in bed.

I noticed that the bathroom window was open. I realized that the intruder/s was/were in the toilet because the toilet door was closed and I did not see anyone in the bathroom. I heard movement inside the toilet. The toilet is inside the bathroom and has a separate door.

It filled me with horror and fear of an intruder or intruders being inside the toilet. I thought he or they must have entered through the unprotected window.

As I did not have my prosthetic legs on and felt extremely vulnerable, I knew I had to protect Reeva and myself.

I believed that when the intruder/s came out of the toilet, we would be in grave danger. I felt trapped as my bedroom door was locked and I have limited mobility on my stumps.

I fired shots at the toilet door and shouted to Reeva to call the police. She did not respond and I moved backwards out of the bathroom, keeping my eyes on the bathroom entrance.

Everything was pitch dark in the bedroom and I was still too scared to switch on the light. Reeva was not responding.

When I reached the bed, I realized that Reeva was not in the bed. That is when it dawned on me that it could have been Reeva who was in the toilet.

I returned to the bathroom calling her name. I tried to open the toilet door but it was locked. I rushed back into the bedroom and opened the sliding door exiting on to the balcony and screamed for help.

I put on my prosthetic legs, ran back to the bathroom and tried to kick the toilet door open. I think I must have then turned on the light. I went back into the bedroom and grabbed my cricket bat to bash open the toilet door. A panel or panels broke off and I found the key on the floor and unlocked and opened the door. Reeva was slumped over but alive.

I battled to get her out of the toilet and pulled her into the bathroom. I phoned Johan Stander, who was involved in the administration of the estate and asked him to phone the ambulance. I phoned Netcare and asked for help. I went downstairs to open the front door.

I returned to the bathroom and picked Reeva up as I had been told not to wait for the paramedics, but to take her to the hospital. I carried her downstairs in order to take her to the hospital. On my way down, Stander arrived. A doctor who lives in the complex also arrived. Downstairs, I tried to render the assistance to Reeva that I could, but she died in my arms.

I am absolutely mortified by the events and the devastating loss of my beloved Reeva.

With the benefit of hindsight, I believe that Reeva went to the toilet when I went out on the balcony to bring the fan in. I cannot bear to think of the suffering that I have caused her and her family, knowing how much she was loved.

I also know that the events of that tragic night were as I had described them and that in due course I have no doubt the police and the expert investigators will bear this out."