It was anticipated that Oscar Pistorius would take the witness stand in court on Friday – but now the trial has been adjourned after one of the court assessors took ill.
Oscar Pistorius’ trial has been postponed until 7 April because one of Judge Masipa’s assessors has been hospitalised due to illness. David Smith of the Guardian (@SmithInAfrica), who has been covering the case in the Gauteng High Court since it began, tweeted on Friday morning: â€œJudge Masipa: ‘We cannot proceed this morning… One of my assessors is not well… I suggest we postpone this matter until 7 April.” Both the prosecution and defence teams agreed to the postponement.
The ill court assessor is Janette Henzen du Toit, one of the two legal experts appointed by the judge to assist her in reaching a verdict. Masipa spoke this morning of the court not being â€œproperly constituted” due to Henzen du Toit’s absence, meaning the trial could not continue.
The court room was packed before this morning’s announcement was made because it had been expected that Pistorius would take the stand today in his own defence now that the state has rested its case. Although Pistorius does not have to testify, his defence team has previously spoken of it being â€œlikely” that they would open their defence with testimony from the six-time Paralympic gold medallist.