The prosecution of Oscar Pistorius over the death of Reeva Steenkamp took another dramatic turn on Thursday after the chief investigator, Hilton Botha, was again recalled to the court following the new revelation that he was facing charges of mis-selling payment protection insurance.
Witness for the defence Fictieve Persoon testified: "I assumed we were being kidnapped when our coach was struck by a hail of bullets and forced from the road. But as I was bundled out onto the pavement I caught a whiff of lager on the breath and realised it was the police. My relief, however, turned to fear when someone leaned down to my bloodied head, clicked the safety off his handgun and whispered 'did you take out a mortgage or credit card between 2005 and 2010?'
"'Because if so you may be entitled to compensation.'"
Although Persoon was told that the no-win no-fee policy meant he had nothing to lose, he was not reassured. "I recognised that voice. It was the same voice that had offered me a mortgage and spelt out in straightforward Afrikaans that my house would be at risk if I did not keep up repayments. He said it didn't have to be that way. At the time it just made... so much... sense. It was only later that I realised that I had been made a victim. And I now know that man was... Hilton Botha."
Botha's former sidekick Ongelooflike Leuens also spoke, telling the court: "He always seemed to have more money than you'd expect from a regular detective - I mean the salary, the extortion and the protection money only go so far. When I confronted him about this he admitted to moonlighting as a mortgage broker."
Botha's former employer, consumer finance broker Belaglik Nonsens, commented: "Maybe he didn't play by the book. But he got results."