New witness taken to task in McBride trial

2010-03-26 11:49

A WITNESS testifying in the drunk driving trial of axed Ekurhuleni

metro boss Robert McBride has been challenged by the defence on his claim that

McBride had spoken Afrikaans at the scene of the accident.

Francois de Ridder told the Pretoria Regional Court that he was the

first to arrive when McBride crashed his Chevrolet Lumina on the R511 towards

Hartbeespoort dam in December 2006.

He said when he saw the wheel of McBride’s blue state-owned car

hurtling towards him and the car overturning, he got out of his car to

help.

McBride’s car stopped five metres away from him.

De Ridder said he saw McBride, who was seated in the driver’s seat,

moving to the passenger’s side.

“He spoke Afrikaans and asked me about where the other passengers

were,” he said.

The defence questioned: “How could that be because Mr McBride can’t

speak Afrikaans?”

De Ridder replied: “He did speak Afrikaans that day.”

De Ridder also told the court he got a “strong smell of alcohol”

when he was speaking to him.

“I got the impression that he was drunk. He spoke like someone who

was under the influence and he had bloodshot eyes,” said De Ridder.

“His car also reeked of alcohol.”

McBride faces charges of fraud, defeating the ends of justice and

drunk driving. The trial continues.



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