South Africa's Top Detective Takes Over Oscar Pistorius Murder Case

South Africa's top detective is to take over the Oscar Pistorius probe amid attempted murder accusations against current lead officer Hilton Botha.
Mr Botha was removed pending the result of a probe into seven counts of attempted murder.

National police chief Mangwashi Phiyega announced the change after a third day of testimony at Mr Pistorius's bail hearing.

Mr Pistorius, 26, denies murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, 29.

Ms Steenkamp died after being shot three times at Mr Pistorius' home on 14 February.

Commissioner Mangwashi Phiyega said the South African Police Service (SAPS) had received feedback from state prosecutors about Mr 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 asking the country's leading detective to take over the Pistorius case.

In court on Thursday, defence and prosecution lawyers offered their final arguments ahead of what is expected to be a ruling on Friday.

Lead defence lawyer Barry Roux asked for the charge of premeditated murder to be downgraded, and said revelations about Mr Botha undermined the prosecution's case.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel told the court Mr Pistorius should not be granted bail simply because he is famous.

He branded Mr Pistorius as a man "prone to violence" who threatened Ms Steenkamp and eventually killed her.
South Africa 3119087864565114550

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