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Pretoria - The ANC Women's League said it was disappointed on Friday by Warrant Officer Hilton Botha in his handling Oscar Pistorius' murder case.
“We would like to express our disappointment in the conduct of the investigating officer, who seemed unprofessional and unprepared during his cross examination,” spokeswoman in Gauteng Jackie Mofokeng said, after bail was granted to the paralympian charged with his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp's murder.
Magistrate Desmond Nair criticised Botha's work at the scene, listing problems such as what happened to a first urine sample, why he did not contact Interpol to verify a magazine article that Pistorius had a house in Italy, why he did not “bother” to ask for or check Pistorius' or Steenkamp's cellphones, why he did not seize a memory stick, and why he did not call Netcare to confirm the call made by Pistorius.
A shout of “yes” went up in the court on Nair's ruling, prompting the ANC Women's League to complain that some men in court reacted “as if they had 1/8seen 3/8 woman 1/8as 3/8 a trophy, forgetting that an innocent woman has lost her life”.
Mofokeng however said the league respected the decision of the court to grant Pistorius a bail.
“We remain vigilant in our demand for justice in the murder case of Reeva Steenkamp, and are satisfied that the charges remain a schedule six offence carrying a possible life sentence if found guilty,” she said.
The Commission for Gender Equality said it hoped that the State would “up its game” in preparing for Pistorius' murder trial, so that public confidence in the justice system could be enhanced.
“The purpose of a fair trial is to ensure that justice is delivered for both the accused and the victim,” the commission's chairman Mfanozelwe Shozi said in a statement.
Bail was set at R1 million, with conditions. Pistorius was arrested on February 14 after Steenkamp was shot dead in a toilet in his house. He said he thought there was an intruder in the bathroom. - Sapa