4 gunshots, then screams faded - witness

2014-03-03 15:38
Oscar Pistorius is seen in the North Gauteng High Court. (Herman Verwey, Foto24)

Oscar Pistorius is seen in the North Gauteng High Court. (Herman Verwey, Foto24)

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Oscar trial day 1 - lunch time report

2014-03-03 14:41

News24 correspondent Sipho Hlongwane reports during the lunch break of Oscar Pistorius's court case at the North Gauteng High Court. Watch.WATCH

Pretoria - There were four gunshots and then the voice of the woman she had earlier heard screaming faded away, a witness told the North Gauteng High Court on Monday.

"A moment after the shots I heard the woman's voice fading away," Michelle Burger told Barry Roux, for murder accused Paralympian Oscar Pistorius.

Roux, who was asking Burger whether she heard the woman's voice during or after the shots, accused her of being unsure of her statement.

"You are not sure, you are adapting, you are speculating, trying to close all the gaps," he said, raising his voice.


Burger again had trouble with her English translator and at times reverted to speaking English herself, or helping the woman interpreter out.

Burger's home is in the Silver Streams estate in Pretoria, near Pistorius's home in the neighbouring Silver Woods Country Estate. She told the court she woke up around 03:00 on 14 February last year to a woman screaming.

Pistorius is accused of the premeditated murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and recklessly discharging a firearm in public.

His lawyers will argue that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder when he shot her through the toilet door of his home.

More shots?

Earlier, Burger said her husband claimed to have possibly heard more shots.

"I discussed the screams and shots with my husband... He said he wasn't sure whether it was four, five or six shots."

She was under cross-examination by Pistorius's lawyer, Kenny Oldwadge. He questioned why her version possibly differed from her husband.

"My husband's testimony is his own," said Burger.

She earlier told the court that she heard the petrified screams of a woman who was calling for help, followed by the gunshots.

She said she initially thought the woman was screaming for help as there was a housebreaking.

Pistorius watched and listened attentively as Burger testified. He occasionally looked down where it seemed like he was writing something.

Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  pistorius trial

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