Botha: I was the scapegoat

2013-03-08 08:24
Hilton Botha (Picture: AFP)

Hilton Botha (Picture: AFP)

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Pretoria - Police detective Hilton Botha says he was thrown into the deep end and when police needed a scapegoat after things went wrong during the Oscar Pistorius bail application, he was made that person.

This was one of the reasons why warrant officer Hilton Botha, 43, resigned from the police force, he told Beeld.

Botha on Thursday said “50% of the reason” was because he felt the police had “dropped” him.

He said the other half was because he couldn’t send his son to university on a police salary.
On Monday he will begin working as a loss manager at a construction company.

Botha was criticised on several points by Magistrate Desmond Nair during the bail hearing of murder accused and Paralympian Oscar Pistorius

It also came to light that Botha was facing seven charges of attempted murder.

‘Looking for a new job for quite a while’

Botha said on Thursday: “When the media turned its back, a departmental investigation was done on me - a year and three months after the incident.

“I have been looking for a long time for a job that pays better as I can’t send my son to university on a police salary. After the business with Oscar I just started looking harder.” 

He said he didn’t get the necessary support and leadership from the police while he was the investigating officer in the Pistorius case.

Yet he said he would miss the police force, where he had worked for 24 years.

“I have always loved the detective work, to find suspects, to take the case to court and get a conviction. I have never arrested someone where I didn’t know from the start the person was guilty. For every arrest I have always got a conviction.”

“I always thought I would do this job until I retire.” 

No effect on Pistorius investigation - police

The police said on Friday Botha’s resignation won’t affect the murder investigation of Pistorius, Sapa reported.

"No, it will have no effect on the case. Investigations are ongoing. If he is needed for court he will be subpoenaed," said Brigadier Neville Malila.

He said other cases Botha had been working on would be assigned to other detectives at station level.

Malila said Botha had been an investigator for many years and his experience would be missed.

"It is a lot of experience that we are losing, but it is his personal decision."

- SAPA

Read more on:    police  |  oscar pistorius  |  hilton botha
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