Lead Detective Hilton Botha Removed from Pistorus Case

Lead Detective Hilton Botha Removed from Pistorus CaseOscar Pistorius, the double amputee who won the hearts of South Africans and the world with his 2012 Olympic performance, entered the third day of his bail hearing as another new twist in the case arose. Lead detective Hilton Botha was removed from the case upon information that he himself will face charges for attempted murder.

Botha will face seven counts of attempted murder for his actions with two other police officers during a 2011 shooting. Botha and the other officers allegedly fired on a minibus full of passengers during an arrest attempt. The charges against Botha had been dropped in March of 2012 but were reinstated on February 4th.

Pistorius is accused of killing his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day. The track star believed that an intruder was in his bathroom and fired his nine millimeter pistol four times killing Steenkamp. The state believes, and will try to prove, that the shooting was planned while Pistorius claims the incident was accidental.

Defense attorney Barry Roux believes that the state has not made its case for premeditated murder against Pistorius. He believes the shortcomings in the state’s case are a direct result of Botha’s handling of it. Regardless, national police commissioner Riah Phiyega announced that their top detective, Lt. Gen. Vinesh Moonoo, will take over the investigation.

Also Thursday, Nike announced that it would be suspending the sponsorship contract that it has with Pistorius. A Nike ad featuring Pistorius with the quote “I am the bullet in the chamber” was pulled from Pistorius’ personal web site on Feb. 14. Nike believes that Pistorius should be afforded the right to due process and will continue to monitor the case. Even so, the company said that it has no plans to use Pistorius in any future advertising campaigns.