The resignation of Hilton Botha, the former lead detective in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial has resigned from the South African police force. The news was announced by South African Police spokesman Brig. Neville Malila who said:
He gave notice with immediate effect yesterday [Wednesday], the reasons given are between himself and the organization. It is a personal decision ultimately. It is a lot of experience that we are losing, but it is his personal decision.
Here’s what you need to know…
1. Botha Was Dropped From the Case in February When Charges Against Him From 2011 Were Reinstated
Botha is charged with attempted murder after a drunken rampage where he show indiscriminately at a mini bus. He is charged with seven counts. His handling of the case had been criticized since day one.
2. Botha Has Been Accused of Giving Contradictory Evidence at Pistorius’ Bail Hearing
— Karyn Maughan (@karynmaughan) February 20, 2013
The detective changed his original statement after being grilled by Pistorius’ defense attorney Barry Roux, the man who is attempting to keep Pistorius from prison. Botha had stated he believed Pistorius should be denied bail and remain in custody but after being questioned by Roux, admitted that Pistorius’ version of events was plausible and was grounds for bail. After the interrogation, Botha said:
It’s difficult to concentrate with all the media here, that’s the problem. [I Feel] Much better now
3. Botha Was the First Detective on Scene at Oscar Pistorius’ Home
4. Botha Will Appear in Court Along With Two Others in May Charged With the Same Offense
The ex-detective maintains that he and other officers were not intoxicated (Botha’s defense includes that he never gave a blood sample at the time) and were continuing a murder investigation. The Guardian reports:
…Botha and the other officers were pursuing a man accused of murdering and dismembering a woman before dumping her body parts down a drain…
5. Botha Says He Already Has a New Career in Mind
Botha told South Africa’s News24 today that his new career:
…is a new area but I am happy about it.
He also distanced his resignation from the attempted murder charges he faces:
The most important reason [for my resignation] is that I want to send my son to university next year and with a police salary it would have been impossible for me. I really enjoyed all the years I worked.