3 minute read
13 Mar 2014
3:04 pm

Oscar Trial … to wit

Today a bucket, tomorrow a toilet. As the Pistorius trial heads for day ten, everybody's favourite non-fiction court room drama is making for comedy too.

FILE PICTURE: Police forensic expert Colonel Johannes Vermeulen holds a cricket bat while standing next to the door of murder accused Oscar Pistorius' toilet during cross-examination at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday, 12 March 2014. Pistorius, a double amputee, has said he used the bat to break down a locked toilet door through which he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year.He is on trial for premeditated murder. Pistorius has denied guilt, saying he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder. Picture: Werner Beukes/Pool

Chester Missing joked: “That’s not rain over Pretoria, it’s witnesses sweating before Barry Roux.”

Perhaps there would be justice for voters and tax payers, the satirist continued, if Pistorius’s tireless lawyer was sent south to Cape Town to cross-examine elected politicians.

“The first hour in Parliament every morning should be Barry Roux asking them questions.”

Nobody has asked Roux how he feels about being world famous suddenly and nobody will ever know what he truly thinks of the sensational matter at hand, but one Internet meme showed him looking more pained than usual.

“I didn’t ask for this. And who puts a fan on a balcony anyway?” read the caption in a dig at Pistorius’s puzzling claim that on the night Reeva Steenkamp died he got out of bed to bring a fan indoors.

And then there is the door, or as the Daily Maverick put it “THEEEE door!” — the actual one through which Pistorius fired four shots just more than a year ago, killing Reeva Steenkamp.

As everybody now knows it was brought to court on day eight of the trial, with a mock-up of the toilet cubicle to which it was attached in Pistorius’s home, and the autographed cricket bat the paralympian used to batter it down.

And so serious evidence became a prop for the stand-ups.

The door is being framed, protested Missing and promised to interview it on Kaya FM.

Perhaps not all of the jokes were intended to be funny. “Deur van Dood”, deadpanned Afrikaans daily on its front page on Thursday.

The Daily Maverick, unfettered by the rules that applied to court reporting until this month, speculated wistfully that the meranti door might prove a less “wooden” witness than Pistorius’s friend Darren Fresco.

By day nine, it was still in court, “its silence an eloquent testimony to its mistreatment at police hands,” the news site said.

The willow cricket bat exhibit one in the trial was signed by Herschelle Gibbs and everybody now knows this too because Gibbs took to Twitter to volunteer the information.

“Just saw my signature on the bat used by the accused in oscar trial…lol #neveradullmoment”, Gibbs (@hershybru) tweeted, giving another gap to Chester Missing.

“Turns out the cricket bat was signed by Herschelle Gibbs (seriously) so I am surprised it didn’t hit the door higher,” he quipped.

If some Twitter posts sound too good to be true, others are.

Like Hillary Clinton once did, Roux now has his own parody account.

“I wasn’t able to tweet today. Forgot my phone password and Apple ID. Had to involve the FBI. Long story but glad to be back,” read one post.

Where and when will it all end?

The pretend Roux again: “I think the trial will take a lot longer than scheduled and expected. My bank manager is hoping that this will be the case.”

Another doing the rounds is of a man who reported his car stolen. After questioning by Roux, however, he was no longer sure he had ever owned a car.