Byleveld: How I'd handle Pistorius case

2013-02-22 08:52
Piet Byleveld (Sapa)

Piet Byleveld (Sapa)

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Pretoria - Former top cop Piet Byleveld said he would have liked to have been the investigating officer in the murder case against Oscar Pistorius.

“In the light of the circumstances I would have spent at least two full days on the scene,” he told Beeld on Thursday.

Police have been criticised for their initial handling of the scene where model Reeva Steenkamp was shot and killed in Pistorius’s upmarket home in the Silver Woods security estate.

Investigation team criticised

The Pretoria Magistrate’s Court heard on Thursday how Pistorius’s defence team had found a cartridge in a toilet bowl that had been missed by police during their initial investigation of the scene.

The investigating officer, warrant officer Hilton Botha, was also criticised because he was not wearing shoe coverings while walking through the house. Botha has since been removed from the case.

Byleveld said a crime scene was definitely disturbed if the detective in charge was not fully equipped to investigate the scene.

“I wouldn’t even have allowed the commissioner in before I was satisfied that my investigation was complete. A day would’ve been too short for me to ascertain all the facts and to prepare properly.

“Remember, your credibility is tested even in the bail application. The defence try to get as many holes as possible.”

Police stretched

Dr Johan Burger of the Institute for Security Studies said that due to the high number of murders in South Africa, police struggled to give the prescribed attention to all crime scenes.

“Last year there were about 15 609 murders in the country. The extent of the serious crimes makes it impossible for the police to do everything required of them.”

He added that according to protocol, the police at the scene do as much as they can before a more specialised team arrives.

- See News24's Pistorius Special Report.

 

Read more on:    iss  |  police  |  reeva steenkamp  |  hilton botha  |  oscar pistorius  |  piet byleveld  |  johan burger

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