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The science of “gastric emptying” was discussed during Oscar Pistorius’s murder trial in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.
Prof Gert Saayman, who performed the post mortem on Reeva Steenkamp, said to questioning from prosecutor Gerrie Nel that Steenkamp’s bladder would have been empty had she gone to the toilet between 30 minutes to an hour before her death.
Asked about her stomach contents, Saayman said she could have eaten her last meal about two hours before her death. He took pains to qualify this statement by saying that estimating the time of gastric emptying was not an exact science and that he was relying on his years of experience and studying.
Saayman was excused from the witness stand and court adjourned for tea.
He earlier said to questioning from Nel that he estimated having performed or supervised between 10,000 and 15,000 medico-legal post mortem exams during his 30-year career.
Pistorius is accused of the murder of model and law graduate Steenkamp on February 14 last year. She was shot in the arm, hip and head.
He is also charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and two counts of discharging a firearm in public.
He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.
In September 2010 he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.
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