What got you tweeting

8 000

All the figures are based on the highest point of interest in a piece of evidence in the first week of the Oscar Pistorius trial 7 798
Kevin Lerena, fourth witness, on the shot that was fired in the Tashas restaurant in Melrose Arch: Estelle van der Merwe, the second witness – 1 461 articles and tweets on March 4: “After I heard the four banging sounds, there was silence.” “Oscar said to Darren: ‘Please take responsibility [for the shot]’. And Darren did.”

Dr. Johan Stipp, a radiologist and the 7th witness, also the second person on the scene: “While he was praying, he said he would devote his life and Reeva’s life to God if she could live.” “I shot her. I thought she was a burglar,” were Pistorius’ first words to Stipp that evening. During the cross-examination of Stipp, Gerrie Nel, the public prosecutor, read from Oscar Pistorius’ bail application after his shots through the door: “I was still too frightened to turn the lights on.” Stipp said: “The lights were on.” On March 6, Stipp’s evidence was referred to 4 469 times in articles and original tweets Peter Baba, 9th witness, security guard at Silver Woods, on his telephone conversation with Oscar after neighbours phoned about the shooting. “He said, ‘Security, everything is fine’. I realised he was crying.” By Friday afternoon, 1 636 tweets and articles had been written about Baba’s evidence. He was the last witness for the week, and his cross-examination will continue on Monday

7 000

6 000

Dr Michelle Burger, the first witness – 7 798 articles and original tweets were written on March 4 about her evidence: “She cried very much and called for help. I heard her fear. I knew something terrible was happening in her house. Her screams reached a climax.”

5 351

5 000

On March 5, there were 3 754 articles and tweets written on Lerena and his evidence

5 214
Jason Loupis, 5th witness: Owner of Tashas: “I heard a loud bang. I hoped it was a balloon.” On March 5, there were 1 127 tweets and articles in which his name was mentioned Maria Loupis, 6th witness and wife of Jason: “I asked what had happened. Darren Fresco said the weapon had fallen out of his pants. I then asked him what was the first rule for possessing a weapon. Isn’t it safety? Then I hit him over the head. On March 5, there were 817 instances of her being written about or tweets about her

4 000

3 000

Charl Johnson, third witness, on the number of shots he heard, to Barry Roux: “May I remind you that the senses are sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing. I do not use them to count.” Barry Roux in crossexamination of Charl Johnson: “You and your wife could just as well have come and stood together in the witness box.” On March 5, there were 5 351 articles and tweets that mentioned Johnson

4 469

3 754

Samantha Taylor, 8th witness, former girlfriend: “He cheated on me with Reeva.” By four o’clock on Friday afternoon, March 7, 5 214 articles and tweets had already been written about Taylor’s evidence

2 000

1 000

1 461

1 636

1 127 817

0
Source: Data Driven Insight RUDI LOUW, COBUS PRINSLOO, Graphics24

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