Lead investigator in Pistorius case removed

Police detective Hilton Botha will no longer be the lead investigator in the murder case involving Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega has said.

Pistorius is charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, who died in a shooting in his Pretoria home last week. He has denied deliberately shooting her, and has said he thought there was a burglar when he fired shots at the bathroom door, killing her.

Botha, who was the investigating officer in the case, testified against Pistorius in his application for bail in the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court this week.

Police confirmed earlier in the day that Botha himself faces seven charges of attempted murder.

"Yes. It is one case with seven charges of attempted murder," said Gauteng police spokesperson Brigadier Neville Malila.

He said Botha was first charged in 2009, but that the charges were provisionally withdrawn and the matter was referred to the director of public prosecutions (DPP).

"It was only yesterday [Wednesday] that we were informed by the DPP that he is being charged," said Malila.

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

» This story was updated after first published.

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