State to appeal McBride acquittal

2013-04-18 08:52

The state is appealing the high court acquittal of former Ekurhuleni police chief Robert McBride of drunken driving and obstructing the ends of justice.

The appeal application had been lodged in the High Court in Pretoria, reported Beeld today.

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

Magistrate Peet Johnson sentenced McBride to, in effect, five years in prison, but he appealed and was acquitted on the grounds that the state had not proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

McBride claimed in court that he had appeared drunk at the scene because he suffered from diabetes.

Three of his colleagues initially supported his version that he had not been drunk and did not leave the scene of the accident to evade justice.

But five months later they testified that he had been heavily inebriated and had systematically set about covering this up with their assistance.

According to Beeld, in its request for leave to appeal, the state contended that the appeal judges erred by, during the trial, compelling McBride’s colleagues to answer questions which could incriminate them.

It reported that the magistrates’ court had found that the three had the right to remain silent. The magistrates’ court also disallowed the submission into evidence of a statement by Dr Joseph Moratioa, as he had died before he could testify.

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