Officer in Pistorius Case Facing Attempted Murder Charges

By Ntokozo Sindane    21-Feb-2013 12:05 UTC+02:00
Investigating Officer Hilton Botha faces seven charges of attempted murder. – image –

Investigating Officer Hilton Botha faces seven charges of attempted murder. – image –

The plot keeps getting thicker in the Oscar Pistorius murder case leaving many to wonder if justice will prevail or if the case will be blown to bits by police incompetence. What the state initially thought was a solid case seemed to show signs of possible cracks as Oscar’s lawyer piled on the pressure in the Pretoria Magistrates Court yesterday.

Mr Barry Roux, to the relief of his client who was no longer in tears, exposed a number of inconsistencies and mistakes in the investigative procedure adopted by the police in this case. To further complicate matters for the state, Eyewitness News received confirmation from the police that the star investigating officer in the Oscar Pistorius case is himself facing criminal charges.

Investigating Officer Hilton Botha was noticeably unsteady in court on Wednesday as he responded to questions from the defence. He admitted that the police did not process the crime scene in a manner that would have ensured that the evidence is collected and stored using prescribed methods. Hilton Botha conceded that evidence may indeed have been comprised when officers were present at the crime scene without protective shoe covers.

Hilton Botha currently has seven counts of attempted murder that he still has to account for. It has been confirmed that Botha and two other policemen drove a state vehicle while under the influence of alcohol a couple of years ago. During their drive, they encountered a mini-bus taxi and opened fire with seven passengers still inside the vehicle. In 2011, the officers were arrested. At first the charges were dropped but after further investigation, the charges were later reinstated.

Spokesperson for the police, Neville Malila said that Hilton Botha was selected for the Oscar Pistorius case because of his experience. Neville Malila reiterated that Botha was an innocent member of the police force until he is proven guilty. Botha’s next court appearance is in May. Malila is convinced that the officer’s pending case will not have a negative impact on the on-going Oscar Pistorius case.

The bail application will resume at 11 am on Thursday morning. Magistrate Desmond Nair is expected to hear final arguments on the matter and hopefully come to a conclusion by the end of this week.


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