Hilton Botha, the former lead detective in Oscar Pistorius case, has resigned, South African police confirm.
Detective Hilton Botha was dropped from the investigation in February after it emerged that he was facing attempted murder charges in another case.
He has also been heavily criticized for giving contradictory evidence at the bail hearing of Oscar Pistorius.
Oscar Pistorius is accused of killing his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp – a charge he denies.
The athlete says he mistook her for a burglar when he shot her dead on February 14.
Reeva Steenkamp, 29, died after the athlete fired multiple shots into the toilet of his apartment in a gated housing complex in Pretoria.
Hilton Botha, the former lead detective in Oscar Pistorius case, has resigned
Hilton Botha, the first officer to arrive at the scene of the shooting, was accused of mishandling the investigation after he amended his testimony during fierce questioning by Oscar Pistorius’s defence lawyers in last month’s bail hearing.
It also emerged that the detective was allegedly involved in the shooting of a minibus taxi loaded with passengers two years ago.
The charges against him had originally been dropped but were later reinstated.
Hilton Botha is set to appear in court in May, along with two other officers also accused of opening fire on the taxi.
Police have not commented on the reasons behind Hilton Bopha’s resignation.
Oscar Pistorius, who is charged with premeditated murder, was released on bail on February 22 and is due to appear in court again in June.
Lt. Gen Vinesh Moonoo is to take over the Oscar Pistorius inquiry amid attempted murder accusations against current lead, Detective Hilton Botha.
Detective Hilton Botha was removed pending the result of an investigation into seven counts of attempted murder.
National police commissioner Mangwashi Phiyega announced the change after a third day of testimony at Oscar Pistorius’s bail hearing.
Oscar Pistorius, 26, denies murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, 29.
Reeva Steenkamp died after being shot three times at Oscar Pistorius’ home on 14 February.
Mangwashi Phiyega said the police had received feedback from state prosecutors about Det. Hilton Botha only on Wednesday.
She described him as an “experienced detective” who was not yet facing any criminal charges.
However, she said she was using her authority as national police chief to ask Lt. Gen Vinesh Moonoo to take over the Pistorius case.
Vinesh Moonoo is reported to be a veteran of some 30 years service. He will work with the police chief in Gauteng province on a case Mangwashi Phiyega said required attention “at a national level”.
She denied that the decision to replace Det. Hilton Botha was embarrassing for the police.
The claims against Det. Hilton Botha refer to a 2009 incident in which he and several other officers allegedly opened fired on a minibus taxi carrying seven passengers when the driver apparently disobeyed an order to stop.
In court on Thursday, defence and prosecution lawyers offered their final arguments.
The magistrate is expected to issues his ruling on Oscar Pistorius’s bail application on Friday.
Lt. Gen Vinesh Moonoo is to take over the Oscar Pistorius inquiry amid attempted murder accusations against current lead, Detective Hilton Botha
Lead defence lawyer Barry Roux asked for the charge of premeditated murder to be downgraded, and said Det. Hilton Botha’s contradictory evidence on Wednesday had undermined the prosecution’s case.
Barry Roux said: “The poor quality of the evidence offered by investigative officer Botha exposed the disastrous shortcomings of the state’s case.”
The defence counsel said the fact that Oscar Pistorius had carried Reeva Steenkamp downstairs showed he was desperate to save her life.
On Wednesday, Det. Hilton Botha told the court that the trajectory of gunshots through the bathroom door indicated that Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee, was wearing his prosthetic legs and shot downwards through the door.
This contradicted an earlier account given by Oscar Pistorius, who said he was walking on his stumps and grabbed his gun because he felt vulnerable when he thought an intruder had entered his home.
But Det. Hilton Botha also amended his testimony on the proximity of the witness who he said had heard arguments.
He said police had lost track of ammunition found inside the house, and was also accused of not wearing protective clothing at the crime scene.
The defence also countered police suggestions that testosterone and needles had been found in Oscar Pistorius’s bedroom, arguing instead that the substance was a herbal remedy called Testocompasutium co-enzyme.
On Thursday, prosecutor Gerrie Nel told the court that Oscar Pistorius should not be granted bail simply because he is famous.
Gerrie Nel branded Oscar Pistorius as a man “prone to violence” who threatened Reeva Steenkamp and eventually killed her.
Hilton Botha, the South African detective leading the Oscar Pistorius inquiry, is facing seven charges of attempted murder, police have confirmed.
Detective Hilton Botha, who has faced fierce questioning at Oscar Pistorius’s bail hearing, was allegedly involved in a shooting two years ago.
Oscar Pistorius, a Paralympic champion, denies the premeditated murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, 29.
His bail hearing in Pretoria is scheduled to resume at 11:00 a.m.
Police spokesman Neville Malila said that Hilton Botha and two other officers were due to appear in court in May.
Neville Malila said it was alleged that while driving a state-owned vehicle the three had opened fire on a minibus taxi loaded with passengers.
The three were arrested in 2011, Eyewitness News says, citing police.
Neville Malila told Reuters news agency the charges against Hilton Botha had originally been dropped but were reinstated on Wednesday by the state prosecutor after the officer had taken the stand.
It is not clear whether Hilton Botha will continue working on the case.
Medupe Simasiku, a spokesman for the Pistorius prosecutors, told Associated Press they were unaware of the charges and would now investigate whether the detective should remain.
Oscar Pistorius says he shot Reeva Steenkamp in the bathroom of his home after mistaking her for an intruder.
If denied bail, Oscar Pistorius could face months in prison before a full trial begins.
Correspondents say Det Hilton Botha’s evidence on Wednesday appeared first to boost the prosecution’s case and then offer the defence a hope of winning the argument.
Hilton Botha, the South African detective leading the Oscar Pistorius inquiry, is facing seven charges of attempted murder
Det Hilton Botha told the court that the trajectory of gunshots through the bathroom door indicated that Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee, was wearing his prosthetic legs and shot downwards through the door.
This contradicted an earlier account given by Oscar Pistorius, who said he was walking on his stumps and grabbed his gun because he felt vulnerable when he thought an intruder had entered.
The detective then said a witness had said he heard fighting at Oscar Pistorius’s home on the night Reeva Steenkamp was shot.
Det Hilton Botha initially said the witness was some 600 m (1,800 ft) away, but later amended his answer to 300 m after a break for lunch.
Oscar Pistorius’s family said the changes were “extremely concerning”.
The detective was also accused of not wearing protective clothing at the crime scene.
The magistrate appeared to question Det Hilton Botha’s assertion that Oscar Pistorius could be a flight risk who should be denied bail.
The Pistorius family issued a statement saying they were “satisfied with the outcome” of Wednesday’s proceedings.
The magistrate has deemed this a “schedule six” case, meaning Oscar Pistorius is accused of premeditated murder.
His defence team will have to prove the extenuating circumstances that would justify granting bail.
Oscar Pistorius won gold medals at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.
In London Oscar Pistorius made history by becoming the first double-amputee to run in the Olympics, making the semi-final of the 400 m.