/ 11 May 2013

‘Heavily indebted’ McBride fights to get his old job back

Robert McBride.
Ipid head Robert McBride. (Gallo)

The former Ekurhuleni metro police chief, McBride, has declined to confirm a Saturday newspaper report that he has been gearing to fight for his old position.

When asked to provide more details on the matter, McBride said: "no comment".

The Saturday Star reported that McBride would turn to the Commission of Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration to fight for his old position.

Last week, the state lost its bid to appeal against his acquittal on charges of drunken driving and attempting to obstruct justice.

The court ruled that the state had not raised any question of law that should be considered by the Supreme Court of Appeal.

McBride was arrested in 2006 after he crashed his official car on the R511 near the Hartbeespoort Dam following a Christmas party.

Last Sunday, the City Press also reported that McBride was "heavily indebted" and needed to start looking for a job.

He told the paper that he owed a lot of people money after he spent R1.7-million on legal fees.

'I had to sell lots of my things'
"I had to sell lots of my things. Fortunately some of my family, friends and comrades assisted me," he was quoted as saying.

McBride's attorney Jose Nascimento said McBride was not a drinker.

"He is a vindicated man … and hopefully he can get on with his life, because for six years his life was put on hold and he couldn't occupy any public office with the negative publicity propagated during the trial."

High Court judges Cynthia Pretorius and Lettie Malopa-Setshosa acquitted him in March this year, on the grounds that the state had not proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt, despite McBride's "strange" behaviour.

They also set aside McBride's five-year prison sentence.

He had appeared drunk
The state applied for leave to appeal against their ruling on various technical grounds.

McBride had from the onset denied being under the influence or leaving the accident scene to evade justice.

He insisted he had appeared drunk at the scene because he suffered from diabetes and might have suffered a head injury.

He alleged the police's Organised Crime Unit (OCU) had coerced and intimidated three of his former colleagues to testify against him and change their original statements exonerating him. – Sapa