We put it to Barry Roux

2014-03-23 14:00

If Barry Roux had his way, he would be as far away from ­Pretoria and the Oscar Pistorius murder trial as possible – preferably somewhere like Kleinmond, outside Cape Town, where he goes for regular breaks.

There, he hides from the world, gazing out to sea from his patio while sipping a glass of fine red wine.

It’s been a rough few weeks for a man who hates the limelight.

The ­public may be enamoured with Roux, but they could not have chosen a more reluctant celebrity.

He is utterly mortified by all the attention.

Last week, he was stalked by a woman begging for his autograph.

Roux tried to ignore her, but when he realised she was persistently following him, he told her to walk with him so as not to draw any attention.

Although he is embarrassed by the very idea of signing autographs, he eventually obliged because he felt bad when she told him she’d taken a whole day off work just to come and meet him.

His celebrity status has gone viral. A parody Twitter account @BarryRouxLaw has been set up in his name.

One of his funnier tweets followed Colonel Schoombie van Rensburg’s ­astonishing admission last week that he was horrified when he saw forensic officers handle the gun Pistorius used to shoot Reeva Steenkamp without gloves.

“No glove, no courtroom love,” tweeted the fake Barry Roux.

The Twitter Roux has also ventured beyond the courtroom drama to offer his opinion on Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s damning Nkandla report.

“In exchange for defending him, Mr Zuma has promised that I can use his fire pool whenever I want,” he offered helpfully.

So great is Roux’s celebrity status, it has spawned a new South African lexicon.

Phrases include “You’ve been Rouxed” or “Don’t do a Barry Roux on me” and trial watchers have their favourite Barry Roux joke that plays on his ability to twist what a witness says.

One of those is from South Africa’s most famous puppet, Chester Missing: “Barry Roux says Pres Zuma isn’t a ­tsunami, he’s a cricket bat.”

Here are some popular Rouxisms that mean anything other than what he actually says:

“I put it to you?…” (You are lying).

“Would you be so kind?...” (Watch out I am going to deliver a killer blow).

“Help me understand?…” (You are talking rubbish).

“Let me help you?...” (Let me throw you under a bus).

But this is all a little beyond the real Barry Roux, who doesn’t know how to access Twitter and has never seen his satirical alter ego online.

But he has listened to the rap song created by Joburg radio station 94.7 Highveld Stereo and, according to those close to him, found it hilarious – though he says it’s not that flattering.

After court each day, he is mobbed by adoring fans, and was once chased down Madiba Street in Pretoria.

He ­escapes into a nearby coffee shop and orders his regular treat – a frullato (fruit juice mixed with ice cream), which helps him cool down.

But if Pistorius takes the stand soon, as is widely expected, the tables could turn and it will be state prosecutor Gerrie Nel’s turn to display his cross-examination style.

Bathroom bullet hell Captain

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