Botha initially asserted that he had found two boxes of “steroids” in Pistorius’s bedroom, hastily changing this to “two boxes of testosterone, needles and injections”. Later, questioned by advocate Barry Roux for the defence, Botha had to admit he could not be certain of the contents. Roux said it was a “herbal remedy” called testo-composutim co-enzyme used by many athletes, insisting: “It is not a steroid and it is not a banned substance.”
Botha also told the court one of his witnesses had heard a fight, “two people talking loudly at each other”, between 2 and 3am on 14 February. But, pressured by Roux, he conceded that the witness had not identified the voices as belonging to Pistorius and Steenkamp and lived some 600 metres away. There was a collective murmur from Pistorius’s family. Botha later changed his estimate to 300 metres when questioned by the prosecution.
Botha acknowledged that Pistorius’s legal team had found a spent bullet cartridge in the toilet bowl that his officers did not. He also confronted Botha, saying: “You were in the house walking with unprotected shoes. That should not happen.” Botha conceded that it should not.
Botha said police found two iPhones in the bathroom and two BlackBerrys in the bedroom, adding that none had been used to phone for help. But Roux claimed the defence team had another phone in its possession that the police had failed to request. “Why did you not come to us and ask for Pistorius’s cellphone number?” he asked.
Roux also took him to task for failing to check Pistorius’s claim that he phoned the Netcare hospital at 3.20am.
Botha said ammunition for a .38-calibre weapon had been found at the house but Pistorius did not hold a licence for it. “Did you take steps to find out who the owner of the ammunition was?” Roux demanded. Botha replied: “No, I didn’t.”