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Barry Roux slapped on wrist for remark to Gerrie Nel

Judge Thokozile Masipa on Thursday reproached Oscar Pistorius's lawyer Barry Roux for a sarcastic comment to prosecutor Gerry Nel.

When court resumed after lunch, she addressed both Nel and Roux.

“You made an objection against the way Mr Nel was arguing,” she said, looking at Roux.

“You had every right to do so, but it was not the correct way to do so.”

Roux, speaking softly, apologised.

Before lunch Nel was addressing acting national correctional services commissioner Zach Modise about prison conditions, during sentencing proceedings for Pistorius, when Roux got to his feet.

“I think Mr Nel must just take the oath because he’s giving evidence,” Roux snapped. He sat down just as quickly as he had leapt up, leaned back in his chair, propped one foot on his thigh and looked irritated.

There were “oooohs” and ripples of laughter from the public gallery.

Nel, who had sat down, got up again.

“My Lady I don’t find that funny. I could make the same sarcastic remark but I decided not to.”

Roux’s comment was made while Nel was re-examining Modise.

“Like in every department in the country you have people that don’t follow the rules,” Nel told Modise.

“Like in any organisation in this country you have people that don’t follow the rules,” he added.

“But you deal with that?” Nel asked.

“That is correct,” Modise replied. This prompted Roux’s sarcasm.

Closing arguments will be heard on Friday.

On September 12 Masipa found Pistorius guilty of the culpable homicide of model and law graduate Steenkamp, but not guilty of her murder. Pistorius had claimed he thought there was a burglar in his toilet when he fired four shots through the locked door in the early hours of February 14 last year, killing Steenkamp.

Masipa found Pistorius guilty of discharging a firearm in public, when he shot from his friend Darren Fresco’s Glock pistol under a table at Tasha’s restaurant in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, in January 2013.

Pistorius was found not guilty on two firearms-related charges – illegal possession of ammunition, and shooting through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein on September 30, 2012.


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