Judge Thokozile Masipa on Tuesday scolded the media as well as the first state witness within the first two hours of the second day of Olympian, Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial.
As the court resumed after a short adjournment for tea break, Judge Masipa stated that if the media does not behave they will no longer be treated with “soft gloves” by the court.
Earlier on Tuesday, eNCA, a South African news channel used a still image of the first witness, Michelle Burger, during their coverage of the trial. The image used was one from the University of Pretoria where Burger works and has been published in a number of daily newspapers.
The judge therefore ordered that photographs, from any source, of witnesses who requested to remain anonymous be not published during the course of the trial. The judge further ordered that an investigation follow to find out if there was a non-compliance or violation of the court order.
Earlier on Tuesday Burger herself was reprimanded by the judge for not answering the questions of defence advocate Barry Roux:
“When counsel asks a question, you answer the question,” she told Burger.
Masipa said Burger was to reply with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer instead of providing long-winded explanations.
Roux picked up where he left off on Monday afternoon, arguing that Burger’s statement contradicted her testimony in court.
While Ms Burger stuck to the testimony she gave on Monday, Roux who continued with the cross examination asked “Reeva was inside the toilet with a locked door and closed window… you could hear increased anxiety, fear, emotion?”
The witness also denied that she and her husband might have tried to doctor their statements. She told the court that she didn’t get to see her husband’s statement and that both statements were taken individually by Van Aardt.