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Lead detective off Pistorius case -

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SALLY SARA: The lead detective in the case against South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has been dropped by the prosecution.

Detective Hilton Botha was taken off the case after it was discovered he is facing seven charges of attempted murder in relation to a shooting in 2009.

The revelations have disrupted the prosecution's efforts against Oscar Pistorius.

Police say they will muster a new team to continue the case.

Africa correspondent Ginny Stein reports.

GINNY STEIN: Revelations that lead detective Hilton Botha was facing seven attempted murder charges relating to a shooting incident in 2009 while allegedly drunk was news to the court, South Africa's police chief deciding after a day in which the state's case had come under attack from Oscar Pistorius's lawyer, she had to act.

Hilton Botha was removed and a new man known as the country's top detective has been brought in.

Police chief Mangwashi Phiyega:

MANGWASHI PHIYEGA: For now I can tell you that General Moonoo in collaboration with General Petros who is the provincial commissioner of Gauteng are collectively leading this process.

GINNY STEIN: Hilton Botha, who is charged along with another officer of seven counts of attempted murder after allegedly firing while drunk on a fleeing mini-van with seven people on board, has not been suspended, just removed from the case to allow him to defend himself against the allegations.

Police chief Phiyega:

MANGWASHI PHIYEGA: The investigation of the department will tell us whether it was a normal intervention by a police person dealing with criminality out there or whether there were any issues of wrongness in there. The investigations are going on and we will come back and tell you what we found out.

GINNY STEIN: In court, defence and prosecution lawyers offered their final arguments ahead of a ruling expected on Friday.

There were delays, impromptu interruptions including one from a woman who called for Oscar Pistorius's mental state to be evaluated, and a sudden but brief adjournment called by the magistrate saying, "There appears to a some threat of some kind".

Defence lawyer Barry Roux asked for the charge of pre-meditated murder against his client to be downgraded. He said revelations about Detective Botha only served to undermine the state's case.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel argued whether or not the Paralympian knew it was his girlfriend behind the door, he went to kill someone. He says, "Why did he shoot? He fired to kill".

He accused Mr Pistorius of being a man prone to violence who threatened his girlfriend and eventually killed her.

This is Ginny Stein reporting from Pretoria Magistrate's Court for AM.