Oscar trial: 2nd witness tells of shouts

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Pretoria - The second witness called to the stand in the HIgh Court in Pretoria was a resident of Oscar Pistorius's Pretoria housing complex, Estelle van der Merwe.

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel began his examination asking her about who was with her on the night of the shooting. She said she had been with her husband and child that evening.

The couple knew of their famous neighbour, who lived about 98 metres away, and their windows were open on the night of the shooting.

Van der Merwe woke up at around 1am, when she heard shouts by what appeared to sound like a woman.

She said she could not understand what was being said, or even the language she was speaking. The voice would start and stop, but she couldn't hear the other person's voice.

She said she felt annoyed because her sleep had been interrupted, and tried to go back to sleep by putting a pillow over her head.

She told the court: "I was irritated by the noise because I wanted to sleep and my son was going to write an exam."

Van der Merwe woke up yet again, at around 3am when she heard four loud noises. But when she was asked to explain, she said they were loud bangs.

After the four sounds, she said there was total silence, no more voices.

Her husband had also woken up, and said that the noises had to be gunshots.

Her husband looked out of the window, but couldn't see anything. They then heard a commotion, Van der Merwe told the court.

After struggling to explain how the shots sounded, Van der Merwe said they sounded like "bang, bang, bang... That's the best I can do," she said.

Her husband phoned security, but she could not remember exactly when she first heard the noise of someone crying out loud. She thought it was a woman's voice, but her husband said that it was “Oscar”.

On February 21, 2014, she also heard male voices coming, and lights on at Pistorius's home through her window, and a white SUV standing next to the house. She said she knew for certain that the voices were coming from Pistorius's house this time.

Van der Merwe looked incredibly tense throughout her testimony, prompting Nel and the Judge Thokozile Masipa to ask her to calm down on more than one occasion.

The court was then adjourned for lunch.

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