Pistorius trial: Kevin Lerena takes the stand

Professional boxer Kevin Lerena has taken the stand in the Oscar Pistorius trial.

Professional boxer Kevin Lerena testifies during the third day of Oscar Pistorius murder trial on 5 March 2014.

PRETORIA - The Oscar Pistorius murder trial has been adjourned until 2pm after defence advocate Barry Roux told the court that he needed some time to prepare as he didn't know professional boxer Kevin Lerena would be called up to the stand.

The state called up Lerena after excusing Charl Johnson from the stand earlier.

Wearing a red tie and black suit, Lerena said he knew Pistorius after they met through his sponsor, the Daytona Group.

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel began questioning Lerena as he recalled being with Pistorius at Tasha's restaurant in Melrose Arch in January 2013.

Pictures of Tasha's were brought to life on a large TV screen and showed where the men were seated.

Lerena confirms that at the time, there were other people in the restaurant.

He said he ordered a pasta while the others ordered drinks and said he doesn't know why, but Darren Fresco passed his firearm to Oscar.

He testified that Fresco told Pistorius that there was "one up", meaning there was a bullet in the chamber.

"When the firearm was handed over, a shot went off. There was a bullet hole in the floor near my foot. The restaurant went quiet. I sustained a scratch on my toe."

He added he was in shock as he'd never been in a confined space when a firearm was discharged.

"Oscar apologised profusely for what had happened, then asked Fresco to take the blame."


Earlier, Charl Johnson, husband of the state's first witness, Michelle Burger, was cornered by defence advocate Barry Roux during cross-examination in the trial.

Before a 30-minute adjournment, Roux systematically went through Johnson's testimony and compared it to Burger's by drawing similarities.

Roux also compared the couple's testimony to their statements, and picked up discrepancies.

He showed that both Burger and Johnson testified about the intensity of screams, but neither mentioned it in their statements.

"Mr Johnson, maybe I must stop you here because you don't know what you are doing to yourself."

Roux said Johnson illustrated what he tried to prove to the court - that he and his wife discussed her testimony.

Roux said for a witness to be considered reliable, they needed to maintain strong independent versions, and in this regard, Johnson had failed.

The defence advocate said, "You could just have well stood there in that box with your wife."

Johnson said he was absolutely certain that the noises he heard were gunshots.

There were disputes that the sound was a cricket bat on the bathroom door.

Roux plotted a timeline to illustrate to Johnson that the noises he heard, based on his version, were in fact the noises of a bat on door.

Roux then switched to the issue of the notes Johnson made on the advice of an advocate.

He then asked if he wrote them with his wife.

Johnson said he made his notes at work and said Burger also made her own notes.

Roux then asked for an adjournment for Johnson to make his notes available to the court.

After returning from a 30-minute adjournment, Nel addressed the court as there was trouble accessing Johnson's notes.

Nel then suggested the witness stand down and said plans would be made to access the notes which will be made available to the defence.

Meanwhile, Twitter has exploded with tweets of how Johnson coped under cross-examination:

Barry Rouxthless really ripping Charl Johnson's testimony apart (contradictions, collusion and timing) #OscarTrial

Why did it take Charl Johnson and Michelle Burger a full week to report what they heard to the police? #OscarPistoriusTrial199 #OscarTrial

Roux is at it again..serious grilling of Charl Johnson, not someone I would ever want to go up against in court..shoo #Roux @OscaraTrial199

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