Police in Pistorius murder case quits
South African detective Hilton Botha said Thursday his resignation from the police force was not due to the bungled investigations in the murder case against Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, but added he felt he was left to “hang out to dry”.
In an interview with a local radio station, Botha said he resigned because he had found a better paying job, and not because of the case against star sprinter Pistorius.
“I was looking for another job with a better pay for a long time now and I got this job that is gonna make me able to pay my son’s university for next year,” he told Jacaranda FM.
Police spokesman Neville Malila told AFP that Botha had quit the force on Wednesday, without elaborating.
“His resignation has been accepted. The reasons for his resignation is a matter between himself and the organisation, we are not going to make that public,” he said.
Botha was one of the force’s most experienced detectives with a 22-year career as a policeman.
But during Pistorius’s bail hearing last month over the Valentine’s Day killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, Botha’s evidence was repeatedly picked apart by the defence.
He admitted in court that the investigation “could have been handled better,” conceding he may have contaminated the crime scene and that his team had failed to spot a bullet lodged in the toilet.
On Thursday however he gave further views of the investigation.
“The crime scene was dealt with very professionally, that’s what I think,” he said in the radio interview, yet complained that he did not get enough support at the onset of the probe.
He said he felt he was left to “hang out to dry and I was on my own for a while and when someone came to help it was almost too late,” he said.
Just days into the Pistorius case it then emerged that he was facing charges of attempted murder for shooting at a mini bus in 2011.
He was promptly replaced as the chief investigator in the Pistorius case by the country’s top detective.