Feb 21 2013 By Cheryl Mullin
THE lead detective in the investigation of Oscar Pistorius over the alleged murder of his girlfriend has been dropped from the case after it emerged he is due to appear in court himself.
Detective Hilton Botha, who has given evidence against the Paralympian during his bail hearing this week, is facing seven counts of attempted murder and is due to appear in court in May.
He and two other police officers are accused of firing shots while trying to stop a minibus in an incident believed to have happened in October 2011.
The news of his removal from the investigation came as Pistorius was due to find out today if he will be granted bail after being charged with the premeditated murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
``Blade Runner'' Pistorius has returned to court for the third day of his high-profile bail hearing.
He has admitted shooting 29-year-old model Steenkamp, but claims he did so thinking she was a burglar or burglars, who were in the bathroom. He said he opened fire in the dark because he was too scared to turn a light on.
Realising his mistake, he broke the door down with a cricket bat and carried her downstairs, he said.
Yesterday Botha acknowledged the prosecution had no evidence challenging the double-amputee Paralympian’s claim that he killed his girlfriend accidentally, as well as admitting a number of police blunders in the investigation.
He said there was "no way" he believed Pistorius’s version of events, adding: "I believe he knew she was in the bathroom and he shot four shots through the door."
Medupe Simasiku, of the National Prosecution Agency, previously said prosecutors were unaware of the charges against Botha when they put him up in court to explain why Pistorius should not be given bail.
Police Brigadier Neville Malila, of the South African Police Service, said officers learned yesterday that the charges against Botha and the two others had been reinstated by the Director of Public Prosecutions. They were initially dropped following the shooting incident.