/ 16 April 2008

Stolen McBride papers not related to drunk-driving case

Documents relating to Robert McBride were among those stolen recently from the Johannesburg High Court, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Wednesday.

But these papers were not directly linked to the drunken-driving case of the Ekurhuleni metro police chief, the NPA said in a statement.

Earlier, NPA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said the Pretoria Regional Court case against McBride involving his car accident would not be derailed because of the robbery as those documents had not been affected.

However, a subsequent statement from director of public prosecutions Charin de Beer said documents stolen in Sunday’s robbery included: ”Copies of documentation relating to Robert McBride’s investigation pertaining to my area of jurisdiction [prima facie, it has nothing to do with the Pretoria trial].

”The said documents refer to several case dockets. I wish to emphasise that these cases are still in the investigation phase and the details thereof cannot be divulged at this stage. Some of the cases being investigated relate to charges of attempted murder, fraud and defeating the ends of justice,” she said.

Tlali would not elaborate on which case this could be referring to.

Armed robbers broke into the court on Sunday night and took documents relating to a R46-million First National Bank cash-heist case.

They escaped after a shoot-out with Johannesburg metro police.

According to De Beer, they also made off with the laptop of advocate Deon van Wyk, who is working on the heist case, and some of his personal documents.

Following that robbery, computer hard drives were also found to have been stolen from the Jeppestown Magistrate’s Court when staff arrived for work on Tuesday.

Police said they were investigating both cases. — Sapa