Tuesday, August 29, 2006

How calm and collected are you?

"m'Lord, I'm sorry, but there is a snake next to the accused."

HA HA HA HA! Brilliant. This guy, a court interpreter in Ramsgate, KwaZulu-Natal, takes the cake for taking things in his stride.

For my overseas readers, a boomslang (Afrikaans for "tree snake") has a very dangerous neurotoxic venom. They grow to about 2 metres and their victim's only saving grace is that they are back-fanged, meaning they often don't get a great bite and inject a full load of poison. Nevertheless, they remain one of South Africa's most dangerous snakes, and they are quite common in all of sub-saharan Africa.

An African Boomslang Picture: animalpicturesarchive.com

From News24

Sssilence in court!
28/08/2006 23:13 - (SA)

Lucia Swart , Beeld

Durban - It wasn't a snake in the grass that caused all the drama at Ramsgate magistrate's court on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast on Monday - it was one in court.

Court interpreter R S Madlebe was speaking just after noon on Monday when he suddenly switched to English: "m'Lord, I'm sorry, but there is a snake next to the accused."

Magistrate Charlotte Dickinson said a green boomslang slithered into sight.

"It was hot and the case was becoming quite drawn-out just before lunch.

"The interpreter was droning on in a monotone. He was in the middle of a sentence when suddenly, without moving a muscle or blinking an eye, he apologised and told me there was a snake," said Dickinson with a laugh.

She adjourned the court and everyone scurried out. The accused was taken back to the court cells.

The court orderly caught the snake (which was about half a metre long) and released it outside."

Just another day in Africa!

1 comment:

kyknoord said...

It would be more impressive if the interpreter didn't have to deal with lawyers on a daily basis :-)