Nomvula Mokonyane chooses sides at Oscar trial

2014-03-05 13:18

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Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has told family of Reeva Steenkamp at the Oscar Pistorius murder trial that “even real South African men are ashamed”.

Mokonyane was today unapologetic about sitting with Reeva’s cousin Kim in the row reserved for family members at the Pistorius murder trial in the North Gauteng High Court.

She told journalists outside court that “solidarity with victims has always been our responsibility”.

“Every child is my child and (Reeva) is my child ... so we will be on the side of Reeva’s mother,” said Mokonyane.

The premier could be heard making disapproving comments at certain points of the cross-examination by Pistorius’ lawyer, Barry Roux.

During a break in proceedings, when Oscar approached the family bench to speak to his sister, Aimee, Mokonyane stared at Pistorius, narrowing her eyes.

Kevin Lerena, a professional boxer, today became the first witness to allow his image and testimony to be broadcast on television.

He is the fourth witness to be called by the state and testified about an incident where a gun went off at Tashas restaurant in Melrose Arch, Joburg.

Lerena testified that he was sitting across from Pistorius and next to Darren Fresco when he saw the movement of a gun “being passed under the table”.

“Darren then said ‘I’m one up’, which he said he understood to mean there was a round in the chamber.

Lerena testified that he heard a shot, followed by “absolute silence”.

“I looked down and exactly where my foot was (there was) a hole in the floor,” he said.

Lerena said he remembered Oscar saying: “I don’t know what happened, I’m so sorry.”

He then testified that before anyone could come to their table, Pistorius asked Fresco if he would take the blame for the shot, because there was too much “media hype” around him (Pistorius).

Charl Johnson’s cross-examination, which began this morning, has been put on hold to allow the defence to obtain notes he and his wife, Michelle Burger – the first witness in the trial – had made on the advice of an advocate.

He will return to the stand when the notes have been obtained.

Both Johnson and Burger testified about being woken up by the terrified screams of a woman on the night Steenkamp was shot.

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