Pistorius case: Magistrate recalls investigating officer
The prosecution says it didn't know the lead investigator on the Pistorius case was facing criminal charges.
PRETORIA - In a significant development in the Oscar Pistorius murder case, Prosecutor Gerrie Nel on Thursday told the court he did not know the investigating officer on the case was facing his own criminal charges.
Eyewitness News exclusively revealed this morning that Hilton Botha is to answer to seven counts of attempted murder relating to a shooting involving a minibus taxi in 2011.
A short while ago, Magistrate Desmond Nair asked that Botha be recalled, apparently to explain the pending case against him.
Nair asked Nel whether Botha was in court, and the prosecutor told him that he was in the court building.
The chief magistrate said he wanted the investigating officer to reappear before him.
The court was adjourned for around 20 minutes so the policeman could come back and face questions from Nair.
Pistorius stood in the dock, hands clasped before him, staring forward as the discussion took place.
The so-called Blade Runner’s family members have taken their seats in the public gallery of the Pretoria court.
Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his Pretoria East home on Valentine’s Day.
He claims he mistook her for an intruder he believed was hiding in his bathroom.
Argument in the bail application has been delayed as a result.
‘BOTHA SHOULD NOT BE ON THE CASE’
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said earlier it could not see a way for Botha to remain in charge of the case.
It also confirmed that charges against Botha were reinstated on 4 February.
NPA's Bulelwa Makeke said the changes changed everything, and that the police needed to make a decision on Botha's fate.
"If we have an investigating officer that's facing such serious charges it cannot happen that he continues with this case".
But Botha told Eyewitness News he and his colleagues were investigating a case when they tried to pull over the taxi.
He says they had no idea there were seven passengers inside when they shot at the vehicle's tyres.
The detective said as far as he was concerned, the charges had been dropped.
He has also disputed claims he was drunk when the incident occurred.