Witnesses confirm Oscar’s shouts, shots

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oscar hand on chin sized MEDIA POOL Double amputee and Paralympian Oscar Pistorius appears in the North Gauteng High court in Pretoria. Photo: Herman Verwey

Speakingly softly and taking long intervals before answering questions, Estelle van der Merwe was a bundle of nerves as she sat in the witness stand.

At some point, Van der Merwe smiled nervously, drank water from the bottle and kept flicking her hair. She spoke so softly that she was asked to speak up so that the court recording system could capture her voice.

Van der Merwe is the second witness in Oscar Pistorius' murder trial. In her evidence, she testified that she heard what seemed to be fighting on February 14 2013.

She could not make out a language they were speaking or what they were saying. She looked out the window but did not see anything. She could also not make out the direction the sounds were coming from.

She was very irritated that she put a pillow over her head to try and block out the noise and fall asleep. One things Van der Merwe was sure of though was that one of the voices belonged to a woman, she said.

During cross examination from Pistorius lawyer asked how she could have know it was a woman's voice when she could not even hear what was being said. She responded: “But I know a woman's voice and the movements (sic) in a woman's voice especially when we become angry.”

While Roux pressed further for information, Van der Merwe told him that the incident happened a long time ago and she could not remember.

After she was excused the husband of the Michelle Burger, who was the first witness, took the stand.

In his testimony, Charl Johnson said he heard distressed calls of a woman screaming for help. A man later shouted: “Help, help, help,” according to Johnson.

He said his wife dialed the number of a security company and he went to the balcony to speak to the person the other line. The lady screamed again nd the intensity and fear in her voice escalated, he said.

'And the first shot was fired. I heard the lady scream again as the shots were fired and her screams faded.'

Johnson's testimony continues.

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