State versus Oscar Pistorius: The advocate

2014-03-02 14:00

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A glass of fine red wine, a good pizza and solitude is all it takes to make Advocate Barry Roux happy.

Over the summer holidays, he was content to hang out in his holiday home by the sea and hardly go out at all.

He shuns the limelight and finds the thought of being in the global media spotlight in court next week horrifying.

Spend any time with Roux and you will quickly meet his sharp wit and self-deprecating style.

He puts others at ease by sending himself up and portraying himself as an unsophisticated, clumsy Afrikaner.

But that’s far from the truth.

Roux is seriously smart and colleagues on both sides of the legal bench are quick to point this out.

“Barry Roux is no fool,” said one lawyer. “A devastating cross-examiner,” said another.

All agree that Pistorius hired one of the country’s best legal minds.

“It’s good for the judicial system in South Africa,” said one colleague, “because Roux will be pitted against Advocate Gerrie Nel. It will be the clash of titans and because both men are at the top of their game, it means the winner is Pistorius in that he will get a fair trial.”

Before a trial begins, Roux prefers solitude to gather his thoughts and soak up the mood.

Preparing for cross-examination takes many hours, but it isn’t until he is in the courtroom that he knows what his first question will be.

He always plays to win.

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