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Bungling detective denies quitting over Pistorius case

Hilton Botha Thursday denied Thursday he resigned from the South African police force due to bungled investigations in the murder case against Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, but said he felt he had been left to “hang out to dry”.

In a interview with a local radio station, Botha said his resignation was not linked to the case against star sprinter Pistorius, but that he was moving to a better paying job.

“I was looking for another job with a better pay for a long time now and I got this job that is gonna make me able to pay my son’s university for next year,” he told Jacaranda FM.

Police spokesman Neville Malila told AFP on Thursday that Botha had quit the force, but did not disclose the reasons.

Botha was one of the force’s most experienced detectives with a 22-year career as a policeman.

But during Pistorius’s bail hearing last month over the Valentine’s Day killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, Botha’s evidence was repeatedly picked apart by the defence.

He admitted in court that the investigation “could have been handled better,” conceding he may have contaminated the crime scene and that his team had failed to spot a bullet lodged in the toilet.

On Thursday however he gave further views of the investigation.

“The crime scene was dealt with very professionally, that’s what I think,” he said in the radio interview, yet complained that he did not get enough support at the onset of the probe.

He said he felt he was left to “hang out to dry and I was on my own for a while and when someone came to help it was almost too late,” he said.

Just days into the Pistorius case it then emerged that he was facing charges of attempted murder for shooting at a mini bus in 2011.

He was promptly replaced as the chief investigator in the Pistorius case by the country’s top detective.

On the re-opening of his murder case, which had been dropped in 2011, Botha said “I don’t know how that works. So we will see what happens.”