Barry Roux stalked for autograph

2014-03-23 20:56
Oscar Pistorius defence advocate Barry Roux. (File, AFP)

Oscar Pistorius defence advocate Barry Roux. (File, AFP)

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Johannesburg - 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.

Celebrity status

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.

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.

SA's most expensive advocates

South Africa’s most senior advocates are making a handsome living.

Last year, City Press reported that some were earning R45 000 a day, but recent reports show that for others the daily rate can be set as high as R60 000.

This, though, depends on the complexity of the case and the identity of the accused.

Some of the country’s priciest legal minds include:

- Advocate Kemp J Kemp, who respresented President Jacob Zuma during his rape trial and his corruption case in in the mid 2000s, and reportedly charged between R24 000 and R36 000 a day at the time

- Senior advocate Ajay Sooklal, who also represented Zuma as well as his former financial advisor Shabir Shaik, charged between R18 000 and R33 000 a day while he represented arms company Thales SA in 2006

- Advocate Ishmael Semenya (SC) and Frank Mathibedi (SG) who represent the police at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the shooting of miners in Marikana, are reportedly paid in the region of R30 000 a day

- Economic Freedom Fighters Gauteng premier candidate, Advocate Dali Mpofu, who represents the miners before the same commission, is being paid R15 000 day by the Legal Aid Board

Read more on:    oscar pistorius  |  barry roux  |  pretoria
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