Pistorius detective facing attempted murder charges

Officer Hilton Botha Credit: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

South African police investigating Oscar Pistorius for murder have taken their lead detective off the case after it emerged he is facing attempted murder charges for shooting at a minibus.

The police has named the country's most senior detective to take over, as preliminary hearings to decide whether the athlete can go free on bail were adjourned until Friday.

Hilton Botha, the initial lead investigator, had already faced a tough time regarding his evidence from defence counsel this week, and police commissioner Riah Phiyega said he might become distracted by the charges relating to the bus shooting in 2011.

Charges against Botha over the taxi minibus shooting had been dropped but the National Prosecuting Authority told Reuters they were reinstated on February 4 - 10 days before Pistorius shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his Pretoria home.

Nike froze its endorsement contract with Pistorius, saying the athlete should be "afforded due process".

Other companies with sponsorship deals, including British telecoms firm BT, U.S. sunglasses maker Oakley and French designer Thierry Mugler, have declined to comment on their contracts while the bail hearing is continuing.

During today's hearing, the prosecution asserted that Pistorius has displayed a lack of realisation of what he has done, and that he shows a 'total lack of insight'.

Earlier today, Carl Pistorius, brother of Oscar, tweeted his annoyance at the claims made by the prosecution :

The bail hearing will recommence at 10am tomorrow.