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Oscar Pistorius Neighbours 'Did Not Hear Reeva'
Oscar Pistorius' next-door neighbour has told a court he heard "very loud" cries from someone "desperate for help" on the night the athlete's girlfriend was shot dead.
But Michael Nhlengethwa, whose house is just 11 metres from the bathroom where Reeva Steenkamp was fatally injured, said he did not hear a woman screaming.
It appears to contradict the claims of an earlier witness, who said she heard "blood-curdling screams" on Valentine's Day last year, despite living further away from Pistorius' home.
The trial also heard from Mr Nhlengethwa's wife, Eontle, who was asked to repeat the noise she heard while her husband was searching their house for intruders after the couple were awoken by a loud bang.
She made a loud shrieking noise - at which point Pistorius leant forward, covering his ears with his hands - but insisted the "vibrating, high-pitched noise" was the sound of a man crying, not a woman screaming.
The prosecutor, Gerrie Nel, has suggested Ms Steenkamp ran into the toilet to take refuge after a furious row with Pistorius.
It is claimed she was facing the toilet door, talking to the runner, when he fired four shots.
However, the Nhlengethwas told the court they did not hear sounds of any argument.
Instead, they said, they heard wailing coming from a man who sounded like he could have been in danger.
"The cry we heard was from someone who was desperate for help," Mr Nhlengethwa said. "It was very loud."
When asked during cross-examination whether he heard the sounds of a woman screaming, the witness replied: "No, not at all."
Another neighbour, Rita Motshuane, also imitated the noises she heard, hunching her shoulders and letting out a series of loud, painful wails.
She said the sound, which was so haunting it left her unable to move from her bed, came from a man, not from a woman.
The Nhlengethwas were originally on the state's list of witnesses but neither were called by the prosecution.
Mr Nhlengethwa said Pistorius, who always greeted him by walking over to talk and shake hands, once introduced Ms Steenkamp as his fiancee and said he was moving out of the Silver Woods estate in Pretoria to Johannesburg in order to be closer to her.
The witness said he expressed regret that his neighbour was leaving but added: "If it's for her, then it's worth it. That one's for keeps."
It was the first time the court had heard evidence the couple were apparently engaged.
Mr Nhlengethwa also spoke about the moment he arrived at Pistorius' house after the shooting and peered through the front door to find Pistorius kneeling over Ms Steenkamp.
"What I saw is difficult to explain," he said, telling the court he chose to wait outside as the scene was so distressing.
Pistorius, 27, denies murdering Ms Steenkamp in a premeditated attack, claiming he mistook her for an intruder.
The case was adjourned at lunchtime and will resume on Thursday after a public holiday in South Africa.