McBride deep in the red

2013-05-05 15:18

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Johannesburg - Former Ekurhuleni metro police chief Robert McBride is "heavily indebted" and needs to start looking for a job, City Press reported on Sunday.

"I owe lots of people money," McBride told the newspaper.

"I had to sell lots of my things. Fortunately some of my family, friends and comrades assisted me."

McBride spent R1.7m on legal fees.

On Friday, the State lost its bid to appeal against McBride's acquittal on charges of drunken driving and attempting to obstruct justice.

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled on Friday the State had not raised any question of law that the Supreme Court of Appeal should consider.

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

Pretoria Regional Magistrate Peet Johnson in September 2011 sentenced him to five years' imprisonment, but he appealed to the North Gauteng High Court.

Judges Cynthia Pretorius and Lettie Malopa-Setshosa acquitted him in March this year, on the grounds the State had not proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt, despite McBride's "strange" behaviour. They set aside McBride's five-year prison sentence.

The State applied for leave to appeal against the ruling on various technical grounds.

City Press reported McBride felt vindicated, but angry.

"It's good to win, especially when you know it's a personal issue against you and not a matter of law," he was quoted as saying.

"But despite the judges' findings of police manipulation and evidence fabrication, there seems to be a lack of interest in the real issue behind the whole saga - the involvement of the SA Police Service in violent crime."

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