Pistorius Trial, day 2, part 2 - as it happened

2014-03-04 16:28

Get all the latest from the second afternoon of Oscar Pistorius's murder trial at the North Gauteng High Court. Get Tuesday morning’s updates here.


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Last Updated at 00:52

The second day of the trial against Oscar Pistorius continued in the North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday.

Moments before she concluded giving her testimony, the State’s first witness Michelle Burger broke down in tears.

The State then called its second witness, Estelle van der Merwe, a neighbour of Pistorius’s, before calling Burger's husband Charl Johnson.

See Tuesday morning’s update’s here and Monday's updates here and here.

15:03 -


15:01 - For the duration of the Oscar Pistorius Trial, get expert analysis and watch exclusive documentaries around-the-clock on oscartrial.com.

15:00 - Catch our Google Hangout with News24's correspondent at the trial, Sipho Hlongwane.  

14:58 - Court is adjourned for the day. Proceedings will resume at 09:30 on Wednesday. 

14:56 - Johnson details the process of giving his statement.

14:55 - Didn't want to get involved, wanted to stay out of the limelight. But realised no other witnesses close to us had come forward. My version differed from the version in the bail hearing, that there was only one voice heard. I felt morally obliged to come forward and provide my version. Contacted advocate, who advised us to write down what we remembered.

14:52 - Johnson says they didn't initially police a statement because they thought they were too far away. 

14:51 - Later that day, he spoke to his neighbour Heinrich, who says he only heard the last shot, as he had a ceiling fan in his bedroom, which made a humming noise. 

14:50 - Witness says he was surprised at how close his house was to Pistorius's house – got onto his roof, took a photo. Then looked at Google Earth image, used the website to measure the distance, he estimated it to be about 150 metres. 

14:49 - Witness says he thought it was a domestic violence incident because they heard a man and woman shouting. 

14:45 - Johnson describes how he heard that Pistorius was involved, also saw news report on Beeld's website.

14:41 - We were worried that if they could be attacked in their house, the same could happen to us. Got up early, around 5am, went to office quite early, around 6am. Did research on security gates.

14:40 - My wife thought lady's husband had been shot in front of her. Heard lady screaming before and during the shots. Tried to get back to sleep. 

14:37 - Johnson heard the first gunshots – didn't count the shots, in first version admitted he said there were 5 or 6 shots.

14:35 - Wife handed him phone, she had already dialled a number for security at their estate. At that stage we were under the impression that these people were being attacked in their home. 

14:33 - On the balcony, Johnson could again hear a lady person screaming. "I could hear she was in trouble, with clearly distressed calls." She screamed help, then a male person shouted "Help, help, help".

14:31 - Crucially, Johnson backs up his wife's assertion that he heard a woman scream. Defence will maintain he actually heard #OscarPistorius - Phillip de Wet

14:30 - Aerial shot of Silverwoods Estate is shown to Johnson. He identifies his house. 

14:28 -  Johnson says early the next morning he woke up to the screams of a woman. Lifted head from pillow to ensure he heard correctly. Got up and ran to balcony. 

14:26 - Judge asks Johnson to speak louder. He repeats that 13 February 2013 was a normal evening at home for him and his wife.

14:25 - Witness starts testifying in Afrikaans (with a new, male interpreter), but then decides to switch to English. He is married to the first witness, Michelle Burger, and works as an IT project manager. 

14:24 - Next witness – Charl Johnson, is called and takes the oath. Judge makes the same order in terms of no photographs or footage of his testimony being broadcast. 

14:22 - Witness says she never heard a gunshot before and it shocked her. Nel concludes his questioning and Van Der Merwe stands down. 

14:20 - Nel starts re-examining the witness, questioned about differences between a male and female voice, which is higher. 

14:17 - 

14:15 - Van Der Merwe says she was very frightened when she heard crying, but her 11-month-old baby didn't wake up. She looked out and saw an ambulance outside Oscar's house. But says she can't remember much more, as it was a long time ago, raising questions about her credibility as a witness.

14:10 - Witness says her husband once spoke to Oscar Pistorius. Husband apparently told her it was Pistorius crying.

14:08 - Top cop Piet Byleveld spotted outside North Gauteng High Court during lunch break, according to @BienneHuisman

14:06 - Roux is questioning the witness on whether she heard arguing or merely heard a woman's voice. Van der Merwe conceded that she had no idea where the voice was coming from, and was too scared to walk to the other side of the building to find out, or to wake up her husband. 

14:03 - Roux tells the witness that she could not hear the screams. Reads her statement to her.  

13:57 - Court orderly tells witness to speak closer to the microphone.

13:56 - Barry Roux starts to cross-examine the second State witness, starting with the events she referred to on 21 February this year, where she says she heard two male voices. He says it was tests of a man and a woman screaming as loud as they could in the bedroom to determine how far the sound would travel. 

13:55 - Gerrie Nel has no more questions.

13:54 - Proceedings get under way again. Witness Estelle van der Merwe continues, still under oath.

13:53 - Judge is back in court, but Pistorius isn't – he had to be fetched.

13:52 - See Sipho Hlongwane's midday update for News24: Sowing the seeds of reasonable doubt.  

13:48 - It's Day 2 of the #OscarTrial, DStv Premium, Extra, Compact and Compact Plus subscribers can watch expert analyses on The Oscar Pistorius Trial – A Carte Blanche Channel, DStv Channel 199 and oscartrial.com.

13:46 - And in other news, EFF members are occupying Church Square, and there is flooding in Centurion.

13:44 - Justice dept unaware of interpreter issues. See more here.

13:35 - Check out our gallery: Oscar Pistorius in Court - Day 2.

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