Tue, 04 Mar 2014 07:45:00 GMT | By Sapa

Masipa Warns Media Over Witnesses

The media was given a stern warning after a picture was used of a witness being cross-examined during Oscar Pistorius's murder trial, in violation of a court order.


Oscar Pistorius (© AP Images)

Oscar Pistorius in court

"I am warning the media, if you do not behave, you will not be treated with soft gloves," said Judge Thokozile Masipa in the High Court in Pretoria.

She ordered that no photographs of witnesses may be used -- no matter the source of the picture -- if the witness had asked that photos not be used.

Masipa said an investigation would take place.

"This might just be the tip of the iceberg."

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel interrupted proceedings shortly after Michelle Burger started testifying on Tuesday morning.

Nel said he had been told that Burger's face was being shown on television, despite her request that this should not happen.

Her image, a still photograph, appeared on eNews Channel Africa.

But eNCA head of news Patrick Conroy said he believed the channel had not done anything wrong.

"We were not in violation of the court order, I must stress that," Conroy said on eNCA.

The broadcaster earlier tweeted: "NOTE: 'We used a still picture from the University website - also carried in daily newspapers."

The photograph has been taken down.

Afrikaans daily Beeld also used a picture of Burger in the newspaper on Tuesday.

Proceedings were stopped when the picture was shown on eNCA.

Masipa ordered the media to stop any photographs of any sorts of a witness.

She said it did not matter where it was sourced from if a witness had asked not to have their photograph published.

She ordered an investigation into the extent of the non-compliance.

This was after Nel said there was a photograph of Burger, Pistorius's neighbour, with audio of her cross-examination running.

He said the news channel eNCA asked the department of justice fo permission and were told no, but they went ahead and did so.

It was made clear that this was a violation of the ruling that no photograph or video of the witness should be shown.

There would be an investigation to establish what further steps should be taken regarding the violation, Nel said.

Last week Judge Dunstan Mlambo gave the media permission to broadcast the trial with strict conditions. These included not photographing or publishing images of witnesses if they asked for this in advance.

Watch the trial live on East Coast Radio.

News

  • Oscar Pistorius  Gallo Images

    State prosecutor Gerrie Nel told the Pretoria High Court on Thursday that Oscar Pistorius had tailored his version of what occurred on the night he shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

  • Barry Steenkamp  Twitter\ChristaEybers

    Reeva Steenkamp's father Barry is attending court proceedings in Oscar Pistorius' murder trial for the first time since the trial began.

  • Reeva Steenkamp and Oscar Pistorius  Gallo Images

    Murder-accused Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius returns to court on Thursday for the presentation of final arguments.

  • Carl Pistorius accident  Gallo Images

    Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius’ brother is still in an intensive care unit following serious injuries sustained in an accident outside Modimolle, Limpopo, last week.

  • Oscar Pistorius  Gallo Images

    Murder-accused Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius’ defence team has filed its final arguments in the Pretoria High Court on Monday.

Features

The Deceased

  • Reeva Steenkamp(©Gallo Images)

    Reeva Steenkamp never got to open up the shelter for abused woman and children she had dreamt about. Instead, she herself became a victim of deadly violence.

The Accused

The Judge

The Prosecution

The Investigation Officer

  • Vineshkar Moonoo(©Gallo Images)

    The chief investigating officer in the murder probe against Paralympian Oscar Pretorius -- Lt-Genl Vineshkumar Moonoo -- is a top dog in the world of detectives.

The Defence

  • Barry Roux(©Gallo Images)

    Oscar Pistorius's trial lawyer has fought and won a string of high-profile criminal cases, but found celebrity status when millions followed the athlete's three-day bail hearing last February like a reality television show.