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Sat Nov 01 12:27:32 SAST 2014

Radebe denies rift in Oscar's bail case

Sapa | 25 February, 2013 00:36
Oscar Pistorius stands in the dock ahead of court proceedings at the Pretoria magistrates court
Oscar Pistorius stands in the dock ahead of court proceedings at the Pretoria magistrates court. "Blade Runner" Pistorius, a double amputee who became one of the biggest names in world athletics, was applying for bail after being charged in court with shooting dead his girlfriend, 30-year-old model Reeva Steenkamp, in his Pretoria house.
Image by: SIPHIWE SIBEKO / Reuters

There was no conflict between the National Prosecuting Authority and the police about the bail hearing of murder accused Oscar Pistorius, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said yesterday.

"I'm not aware of a conflict between the NPA and the police regarding the matter of the bail hearing of Oscar Pistorius," he said in Pretoria.

He said he was aware that the original lead investigator, Warrant Officer Hilton Botha, had been "removed" by national police commissioner Riah Phiyega.

Radebe confirmed what the NPA said last week: that attempted murder charges against Botha were reinstated "on February 4, 10 days before that tragic occurrence".

Botha is accused of shooting at a taxi carrying seven passengers in 2011.

Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on February 14. He is out on bail.

Radebe said the two cases were "separate altogether".

"I have not discerned any conflict between the NPA and the police; in fact, they always work as a team," he said.

The revelation last week that Botha was facing attempted murder charges caused a national and international media storm. The officer was pulled off the case during the third day of Pistorius's bail hearing.

Phiyega told reporters then that Botha would be replaced by "the most senior detective" in the force, Lieutenant-General Vineshkumar Moonoo.

Yesterday Radebe refused to answer media questions about Pistorius .

"This press conference was called to look at issues emanating from the State of the Nation address [by President Jacob Zuma]. So I'm issuing orders that questions [about the case of] Pistorius will not be answered in this press conference."

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