X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Coffee House

Inside the circus – a report from the Oscar Pistorius trial

15 March 2014

2:00 PM

15 March 2014

2:00 PM

Pretoria

I panicked one morning when I couldn’t find the 24-hour Oscar Pistorius Trial channel on my hotel TV set. Naturally I’d done a mountain of my own research, but I’ve come to rely on the channel for titbits of background information to enhance my own breakfast reports ahead of a new day’s evidence. They can’t or won’t give us Sky News in the hotel and much as I try to keep up with the rest of the world’s news on CNN, I keep finding myself drawn back to the Oscar output.

[Alt-Text]


It seems the channel that boasts ‘every angle, every moment, every decision, every fact’ was knocked off the hotel’s TV service by the appalling weather we’ve had since I arrived nearly two weeks ago. Torrential rain and floods are giving Pretoria and surrounding regions their wettest March for 14 years. My cameraman asked room service one night to send up some newspapers. Which ones would he like, The Pretoria News, Beeld, The Daily Sun? He said it didn’t matter, as long as they were big ones. He needed them to dry out his boots. While I and my colleagues may look the epitome of style and sophistication, below the screen we are wearing rain-proof trousers and standing on pallets. So much for South Africa’s summer and the sunny assignment my boss promised me after many long, winter shifts on the wet Scotland Yard pavement.

There are about 300 of us hacks here, so I’m demoted to a seat in the annexe court next door to the real thing. It’s like a cinema in the overflow, with a giant screen relaying most of the action while the audience responds to what’s said with ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’. It’s only a matter of time before someone breaks into applause.

Earlier this week, a member of the rather serious ANC Women’s League had to ask a group of young girls to tone down their laughter when a particularly smug witness told defence barrister Barry Roux that he couldn’t recall a certain distance because ‘I didn’t have a ruler with me.’ A quick check on the witness’s Facebook page revealed he listed sarcasm as one of his languages. Until that point, humour was the one thing this gripping trial had been missing.

Martin Brunt is Crime Correspondent for Sky News

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close