[See previous posts: 9th April 2014: ‘The Oscars’; 11th April 2014: ‘Nel By Mouth’]. Monday 14th April 2014. North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, South Africa. The trial of Oscar Pistorius [Act 4 Scene 3] A hushed and packed courtroom awaits the arrival of state prosecutor Gerrie Nel. Eventually Mr Nel enters the court, forty minutes late. Judge Thokozile Masipa clears her throat.

Judge Masipa: Erm, Mr Nel?

Gerrie Nel: Yes?

Judge Masipa: I need to ask you something.

Nel: I’m sorry? Remind me. Who are you again?

Judge Masipa: I’m the judge in this trial.

Nel: You are? Nobody told me! Well, what do you want? And be quick about it, because I am way too important to be dealing with the likes of you.

Judge Masipa: I was just wondering, Mr Nel, why you are so late.

Nel: I had an important letter to write. Don’t you know what day it is?

Judge Masipa [looking puzzled]: No, Mr Nel, I don’t.

Nel [eyes raised to the heavens]: Today is the 937th day of my cross-examination of Mr Pistorius. It is now officially the longest cross-examination in world history. I needed to write to the compilers of the Guinness Book of World Records to ensure my place in history is preserved for all time. Who are you again, by the way?

Judge Masipa: Please continue, Mr Nel.

Nel [steely gaze fixed on the man in the witness box, clutching a bucket]: Would you like to see another photograph, Mr Pistorius?

[Pistorius leans his head into the bucket once more. Defence lawyer Barry Roux rises to his feet]

Barry Roux: My Lady, this questioning is becoming repetitive.

Nel: No it isn’t.

Roux: Yes it is

Nel: No it isn’t

Roux: Yes it is

Nel: No it isn’t…………

[Three hours later]

Judge Masipa: Gentlemen, I am going to allow Mr Nel to continue with this line of questioning.

Nel [to Pistorius]: You are guilty, aren’t you.

Pistorius: No I’m not

Nel: Yes you are

Pistorius: No I’m not

Nel: Yes you are

Pistorius: No I’m not

Nel: Yes you are…………..

[To be continued….]

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