Pistorius trial: who is Barry 'the bulldog' Roux?

South Africa
Defence attorney Barry Roux interrogated State witness Charl Johnson on a number of points in his statement that are very similar to his wife Michelle Burger’s statement. Johnson is testifying in the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius. eNCA
Johannesburg – Pistorius's defence attorney raised contentions about Michelle Burger’s version of events. Barry Roux tried to disprove Burger’s testimony that she heard the petrified screams of a woman the night Reeva Steenkamp was killed. eNCA
Defence attorney, Barry Roux, has continued cross-examining witness Michelle Burger on her testimony regarding the screams and shots she heard on the night Reeva Steenkamp died. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel interjected during Roux’s questioning. eNCA
Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius (L) listens to his lawyer Barry Roux (C) ahead of his trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, March 5, 2014. Picture: REUTERS / Siphiwe Sibeko
Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius listens to his lawyer Barry Roux (R) ahead of his trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, March 5, 2014. Picture: REUTERS / Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG - He's been hailed as a hero and reviled as a villain, but just who is Advocate Barry Roux, the man who has been tasked with defending star athlete Oscar Pistorius against a murder charge?

Four days into the trial the name "Roux" -- sance hashtag -- trended on Twitter and it appeared he was approaching the same cult status as Chuck Norris. 

A standard joke on Twitter became: "Barry Roux SC could convince me in an hour flat that my name is not (insert name) and I was never, in fact, ever born." 

eNCA.com did a bit of digging around to find out more about Roux, who has taken centre stage at the North Gauteng High Court, where Pistorius is currently on trial for allegedly murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013. 

Roux's legal career spans more than three decades and has included some of the country's most high-profile cases. 

But Roux truly shot to fame last year when he systematically destroyed witnesses at Pistorius's bail hearing. 

Roux's ruthless cross-examination forced Magistrate Desmond Nair to intervene at times when Roux grew too much for some of those who took the stand during the bail hearing.

Roux's razor-sharp legal skills were again on display this week as he picked apart the testimony of State witnesses -- to the voyeuristic delight and horror of South Africans.

Roux may not always have got the desired effect, but he certainly entertained those gawking at the drama unfolding on television.

Here are some more tidbits about the fierce legal beast. 

According to a 2001 entry in an industry newsletter, Roux was born on 21 November 1955 in Mahikeng. He attended Rooigrond Primary School and matriculated from Lichtenburg High School in 1973.

He obtained his law degrees from the University of South Africa (Unisa) and was admitted as an advocate on March 21, 1981.
 
Even though he's gained a reputation as a fierce opponent, Roux actually started out as a prosecutor (1973-1982) and then lectured at Justice College -- the state's training institution for law officials, expect judges and magistrates.
 
He joined the Pretoria Bar in 1982. 
 
Roux's interests are listed as walking, going to the gym and running. At the time (of the newsletter's publication) he was married to Audrey Botha and had two children.
 
 
 
 

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