One scream or many, asks Oscar defence

2014-03-03 16:05
(Themba Hadebe, AFP)

(Themba Hadebe, AFP)

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Oscar trial - witness analysis, day 1

2014-03-03 17:18

As day one of the trial comes to an end, criminal law expert William Booth shares his views on the first witness to be called to the stand.WATCH

Pretoria - Oscar Pistorius's lawyer Barry Roux on Monday asked a witness who heard the gunshots that killed Reeva Steenkamp if she heard one scream or many from a woman.

As Roux was repeatedly questioning Michelle Burger in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on her statement, in Afrikaans, that she heard "gille" (screams), prosecutor Gerrie Nel interjected.

Roux was pointing out that in her statement on what happened in the early hours of 14 February last year, he did not see the plural of the Afrikaans word "gil" (scream).

"I have to object. It is impossible to say 'ek hoor die vrou gille' (I hear the woman screams')," said Nel.

Cricket bat

Burger said that she did not hear Pistorius's cricket bat banging against a door after hearing screams and gunshots.

Barry Roux, for Pistorius, questioned Burger on whether she could not have mistaken the bashing of the door with the bat for gunshots.

Burger maintained that all she heard were gunshots.

"I'm sure the sound of a gunshot is louder than a cricket bat," said Burger.

Burger lives in the Silverstream Estate, about 170m from Pistorius's home in the neighbouring Silver Woods Country Estate.


Pistorius shot Steenkamp through the locked bathroom door. He claimed he had mistaken her for an intruder.

He reportedly then bashed the door open, using a cricket bat.

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

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

Read more on:    gerrie nel  |  reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  barry roux  |  pistorius trial

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