Botha ‘not unhappy’ about removal

2013-02-23 14:07

Police officers with more influence have taken over the murder investigation against paralympian Oscar Pistorius, Detective Warrant Officer Hilton Botha has said.

“No, I am really not unhappy about [being removed as lead investigator] at all,” Botha said today.

Divisional Commissioner of Detective services Lieutenant General Vineshkumar Moonoo was appointed as head of the investigating team by national police commissioner Riah Phiyega on Thursday after Botha’s removal was announced.

He said Moonoo would be able to get information and results faster.

“I am satisfied with that,” Botha said.

Botha’s removal came after reports on Thursday morning that he was charged with attempted murder.

Police later confirmed that seven attempted murder charges were hanging over his head.

Police said in 2011 Botha allegedly fired shots at a minibus while trying to stop the vehicle. There were seven people inside at the time.

Phiyega said her office was aware of the events involving Botha that happened in 2011.

She told reporters in Pretoria on Thursday that Botha would be removed from the investigating team.

“With the process of the bail application over, I, as the national commissioner of police, am appointing a new team to take the matter on a long haul and Lieutenant General Vineshkumar Moonoo is leading that team.

Investigating officer Botha is not part of that team,” she said.

Botha had testified during Pistorius’ bail application.

Pistorius has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his home on February 14.

After eight nights in police custody and a four days in court Pistoruis’ bail application was granted.

Magistrate Desmond Nair granted Pistorius bail of R1 million, with severe restrictions on his movement.

After listening to extensive argument, Nair ruled that he was not a flight risk, and that the State had not shown that he had a propensity for violence.

The matter was postponed until June 4.

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