Oscar trial: First witness back in hot seatComment on this story
Pretoria - Michelle Burger faces another gruelling session of cross examination on Tuesday morning when the murder trial of paralympian Oscar Pistorius gets underway.
Court was due to get underway at 9.30am on Tuesday morning and by 8.30am, Burger had arrived at court ready to face Pistorius’s defence advocate Barry Roux.
With a smile on her face, she remained away from the nearby media.
Burger has asked the court to prevent images of her being broadcast or printed.
Pistorius entered the High Court in Pretoria shortly after 9aml.
He was carrying a blue umbrella and a laptop bag, and wore a black suit and dark tie.
Pistorius entered the dock and began speaking to a police officer.
He then turned around and briefly spoke to his family who sat in the gallery behind him.
Pistorius's lawyer Brian Webber was also seen in courtroom GD.
Eariler police and security guards were preparing the court ahead of the trial.
Two police officers entered the court building with a sniffer dog and emerged again about 10 minutes later.
Security guards took up their positions inside and outside the court building.
A security supervisor said he expected a smooth day.
“There were a few glitches yesterday (on Monday) morning, but we managed to do well as the day progressed. Today (Tuesday) should go well,” said the supervisor, who declined to be named.
Soaking rain has kept onlooker numbers outside the High Court in Pretoria to a minimum.
On Monday, a few protesters, some passers-by and the large contingent of journalists surrounded the court ahead of the start of the trial.
But early on Tuesday morning, the belting rain meant only the most stalwart photographers armed with waterproofing for their cameras and heavy raincoats were standing directly outside the court.
However, the broadcasting stations across Madiba street remained despite the weather, as live crossings and interviews continued.
Inside the court,the cleaners had to mop the floor continuously to keep them dry.
On Monday, Burger, who lives 170m away from the Paralympian’s Silverwoods Country Estate home in an adjacent estate, testified that she and her husband had been woken up around 3am by a woman’s screams calling for help.
“It was a climax. She sounded very scared. She screamed terribly for help. I also heard a man calling for help… calling three times,” she said.
Her husband then went out onto the balcony to see what was happening.
“I told my husband I think someone is being attacked in their home and he should call security.
“I heard the screams again, it was worse, even more intense. It was like a climax… she sounded very scared.
“I then heard the shots: bang… bang bang bang! Four shots. I told my husband ‘I hope that woman didn’t just witness her husband get shot in front of her’. After the shots, we didn’t hear her scream again,” she said.
Burger said she was convinced that it had been a house robbery.
She and her husband got to know the gunshots had been fired from Pistorius’s home only the next day.
They had then decided to call lawyers to give statements as “we realised our evidence could be vital because we lived close to Mr Pistorius’s home”.
While they lived in the adjacent residential complex, Silver Stream Estate, their house was close to Pistorius’s and they could even see his house from their balcony as their house was along the perimeter wall.
Trying to dispel Burger’s testimony Roux told suggested that there was a possibility that it was it might have been Pistorius she had heard.
The Star and Sapa