Interpreter 'arrived at wrong court'

2014-03-03 14:12
People walk outside the North Gauteng High Court ahead of the Oscar Pistorius trial. (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

People walk outside the North Gauteng High Court ahead of the Oscar Pistorius trial. (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

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Bienne Huisman, City Press

Pretoria - The “interpreter problems” blamed for delaying Oscar Pistorius's high-profile trial for 90 minutes on Monday boiled down to a language translator arriving at the wrong court.

The Afrikaans-English interpreter - identified by staff as Lizette Bosch - clocked in at the Pretoria Magistrate's Court instead of the North Gauteng High Court.

Staff at the North Gauteng High Court told City Press that Bosch arrived at the magistrate’s court by accident on Monday morning. “Nobody told her it was here, we think,” said a colleague.

Central Pretoria is congested with road works and she presumably battled to make her way to the high court. When the trial eventually started after 11:30, Judge Thokozile Masipa apologised for the “interpreter hiccup”, saying the court would attempt to be more punctual in future.

Bosch could not be reached for comment during the lunch break.

Her translating skills were questioned by spectators in the courtroom and even prosecutor Gerrie Nel could be seen mouthing words to help her translate testimony from Afrikaans to English.

The first witness, Michelle Burger, a neighbour of Pistorius, delivered a chilling account of a woman’s “blood-curdling screams” which reached “a climax” followed by four shots on the night Reeva Steenkamp was killed.

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

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