It’s hurry up and wait for Oscar Pistorius trial due to ‘Afrikaans-interpreter problems’

2014-03-03 11:46

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Oscar Pistorius’ highly anticipated trial was delayed by 90 minutes because of a bungle with an Afrikaans interpreter.

Court officials apologised to 300 journalists from around the world, family and friends of Pistorius and late model Reeva Steenkamp, saying the trial would commence at 11.30am because of “Afrikaans-language interpreter problems”. Proceedings were supposed to start at 10am.

“We are used to language-interpreter issues in South Africa,” sighed onlookers.

When proceedings got under way after 11.30am, Judge Thokozile Masipa apologised for “interpreter hic-cups,” saying the court would attempt to be more punctual in future.

The interpreter had apparently got cold feet when she saw the crowds, Debora Patta reported.

Seated in the first pew, the Paralympic star leaned forward, scribbling notes on a wad of papers at the North Gauteng High Court. He avoided the gaze of black-clad June Steenkamp, Reeva’s mother, behind his right shoulder. Steenkamp travelled to Pretoria from Port Elizabeth in a bid to find closure, saying she wanted to look the man who shot and killed her daughter on February 14 last year in the eye.

Tufts of grey hair were visible at the back of Pistorius’ head.

A woman named Annamarie was earlier escorted from the courtroom.

Journalists had gathered in the pouring rain outside court from early this morning.

“This feels like home,” remarked a pair of journalists from the UK.

“Breathe guys breathe!” said a cameraman as reporters prepared to capture Pistorius’ arrival.

Tension reached a fever pitch as the clock neared 10am.

Pistorius duped the media by slipping into a different entrance to the one used by his sister, Aimee, and brother, Carl.

But once inside, the hurried crowd was made to wait.

» Watch/listen to the trial live on our homepage at www.citypress.co.za. Follow Charl du Plessis and Biénne Huisman’s coverage here. And on Twitter: @City_Press

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