The Oscar Pistorius murder trial is taking an ugly turn in the tradition of the O. J. Simpson trial, thanks to the the missteps of the prosecution. I have never heard of a law enforcement officer who is charged with attempted murder to be allowed on the job, much less being a lead investigator in a murder case. Shouldn’t Hilton Botha have been suspended pending the outcome of his case when the charges were reinstated? Why wasn’t the prosecutor, Gerrie Nel, apprised of the situation with the lead investigator? As it stands right now, they judge might as well grant Oscar Pistorius bail, since it’s obvious the prosecution is falling apart.
The charges against Hilton Botha were reinstated February 4. Reeva Steenkamp was killed February 14. There is no excuse why he was not removed from the case at that juncture. Riah Phiyega, the National Commissioner, said Lt. Gen. Vinesh Moonoo will take over the investigation.
It seems like there is a trigger-happy mentality in South Africa where guns are concerned. Hilton Botha and two other officers were charged with allegedly shooting at a minibus in 2011.
Shades of the O.J. Simpson:
… lead investigator Botha conceded Wednesday that police had left a 9 mm slug in the toilet where Steenkamp died, had lost track of illegal ammunition found in the home and that Botha himself had walked through the scene without protective shoe covers, possibly contaminating the area. Source
The whole world is watching this train wreck called the Oscar Pistorius investigation and upcoming trial unfold with a great deal of ineptitude. Reeva Steenkamp deserves better than this. Thanks to Botha, the defense was able to poke holes into his weak testimony. I am not sure how Lt. Gen. Vinesh Moonoo can clean this mess up. The bail hearing has been postponed until Friday.