Pistorius Trial Translator Struggles to Relay Murder Evidence

An Afrikaans translator being used for the murder trial of Paralympian gold medalist Oscar Pistorius struggled to accurately relate the evidence of first witness Michelle Burger in English.

Burger, a neighbor of Pistorius when he shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his Pretoria home last year, was asked by defense lawyer Barry Roux if there was a problem after she repeatedly corrected the translator while giving evidence during the first day in court. The trial was delayed by 90 minutes to ensure an interpreter was available to translate Burger’s Afrikaans, spoken by about a quarter of South Africans, into English.

“She is interpreting what I am saying, some of the words are not exactly the same,” Burger said in court today. “And then I’m correcting her in English.” She later switched to speaking in English.

Double-amputee Pistorius, 27, who’s admitted to shooting Steenkamp three times in the middle of the night while she was in his bathroom on Valentine’s Day last year, pleaded not guilty today to premeditated murder.

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