Former death-row inmate Robert McBride said on Tuesday there is no aspect of his past that he is ashamed of.
Speaking at a press conference in Germiston, McBride said: ”There is no aspect of my past that I am ashamed of” and that the questions about his past no longer irritated him, but reflected on those raising the questions.
Ekurhuleni executive major Duma Nkosi introduced McBride officially as the new chief of Ekurhuleni Metro Police.
The Democratic Alliance and the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) last week raised concerns regarding McBride’s appointment, questioning his experience and his past.
McBride’s past included allegations of gun running, operating as a national intelligence agent, a spell in a Maputo jail and also famously the Magoo’s Bar bombing in Durban, which killed three women.
The DA said his involvement in gun-running allegations were never satisfactory explained.
”Those who criticise my past are uniformed and unfair. It is their democratic right to complain and express their views,” McBride said.
About how he got the job, he said he contested the position with other applicants and an independent panel made recommendations after seeing all the applicants.
”I do not regret what I have done. Given a chance I will do it again and I must emphasise — this is nation building,” Nkosi said.
He said the DA and Imatu have complained about McBride’s appointment, questioning among other things his qualifications and whether he was a member of the Metro Police.
”McBride’s appointment is legal,” Nkosi said.
”His shady past questioned by the opposition party relate to history, relate to the country’s history. Robert is a loyal South African, capable and he has to be part of the process building the country.
”We cannot omit him from the process, I believe victim and perpetrator should work together to build a better country,” he said.
Nkosi said he was not aware whether the DA had followed the right process in complaining about McBride’s appointment.
Nkosi said McBride’s issue was a race relations issue and the country had much to do in addressing that.
Those concerned about his appointment do not know the process followed before and during the interview. Some did not even read the advert for the position and ”do not know the requirements”, he said.
When asked what will happen if the DA takes the matter further, he said: ”Watch this space, cannot comment now.”
McBride’s challenges included the integration and transformation of nine towns and 11 administrations that make up the metro.
Nkosi said: ”McBride is a strategist and would turn the Ekurhuleni Metro Police into what I desire.” — Sapa