SABC News - New twist in Pistorius murder case:Thursday 21 February 2013

New twist in Pistorius murder case

Thursday 21 February 2013 08:46


Pistorius to hear his fate at the Pretoria Magistrates Court. (SABC)

Hilton Botha, the investigative officer in the murder case against Oscar Pistorius is facing seven charges of attempted murder. The charges have put Botha’s credibility into question as the State's key witness in opposing bail for Pistorius.

Gauteng police spokesperson Brigadier Neville Malila says Botha allegedly fired shots at a moving combi as he tried to stop it, it’s believed the vehicle had seven occupants in it.

Malila says Botha was first charged in 2009, but the charges were withdrawn and the matter was referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

He added that the police were only informed yesterday by the DPP that they are reinstating the charges against Botha.

Meanwhile, legal analyst William Booth says the matter may have an impact on the Magistrate's ruling in Pistorius's bail application.

Booth made his comment during an interview with SAfm’s AMLive radio programme.

"Obviously, if a witness has a previous conviction or a pending case it may affect that witness’s credibility," says Booth.

Booth added that Botha should have disclosed the impending charges during the hearing.

"But I think as I have said before with regards to Mr Pistorius he is deemed to be innocent, so I suppose the same argument can be made in favour of the investigative officer as that case has not been concluded yet and he may not be found guilty," says Botha.

Proceeding are about to get underway at the Pretoria Magistrates Court where both the state and defence will present their final arguments in Pistorius’s bail hearing.

Pistorius faces a premeditated murder charge for shooting to death his 29-year-old girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last Thursday.

Pistorius says he had mistaken Steenkamp for a burglar.

Edited by Siphosethu Stuurman.

Please click below to listen to the interview with Legal analyst William Booth.

To get the latest updates from the courtroom, follow these SABC journalists on Twitter: 


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