News / Africa

Lead Investigator Removed From Pistorius Murder Case

Investigating officer Hilton Botha, sits inside the court witness box during the Oscar Pistorius bail hearing at the magistrate court in Pretoria, South Africa, February 20, 2013.
Investigating officer Hilton Botha, sits inside the court witness box during the Oscar Pistorius bail hearing at the magistrate court in Pretoria, South Africa, February 20, 2013.
— South African police detective Hilton Botha has been taken off the high-profile Oscar Pistorius murder case. Botha is facing his own charges for attempted murder along with two other police officers, for shooting at a mini-bus taxi in 2011.

News broke Thursday morning that the top investigator on the Oscar Pistorius case is facing seven counts of attempted murder in a case just reopened by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).   

South Africa's Eyewitness News broke the story that Hilton Botha is due to appear in court this May with two other police officers. It is alleged the officers, while drunk, had opened fire on a mini-bus taxi loaded with passengers.

The officers were in a state vehicle at the time. They were arrested in 2011.

Thursday afternoon, South Africa's police commissioner, Mangwashi 'Riah' Phiyega, announced that Botha - a 22-year veteran of the force - is being taken off the Pistorius case and that the police service's most experienced detective, Vinesh Moonoo, will be put on the case.

"I have decided to assign this very important matter, this very important investigation, under the leadership and stewardship of the divisional commissioner of detective services, Lieutenant General Moonoo. He is the most senior detective in the SAPS environment," said Phiyega.

Botha's case had been provisionally withdrawn, but was reinstated Wednesday. Botha, who was testifying in the Pistorius bail hearing Wednesday, did not know that fact during his testimony, Phiyega said.

"Only yesterday did we receive the feedback from the NPA. He wouldn't have been aware of that kind of outcome," said Phiyega.

During Botha's testimony on Wednesday, he admitted to the court that the evidence in the case stood up to Pistorius' own version of events.

While he's off the Pistorius case now, he hasn't been fired.

"We do not suspend without charges," said Phiyega. "Investigating Officer Botha is still a member of SAPS, he's still working, and I've said in my attestation, in my report, that we are pursuing both matters departmentally and supporting the NPA criminal process. The departmental matter will then come to a point where after investigation we can decide whether there are charges or no charges to be laid. At this point in time, there are no charges. At this point in time he is not suspended."

Pistorius' bail hearing will continue Friday. A ruling on whether he'll be released is expected soon. Pistorius, a South African Olympian known as the "blade runner" for his high-tech artificial legs, is charged by police with murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He insists he mistook Steenkamp for a burglar when he shot her at his home.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid