McBride's wife denies false sick note

2011-02-24 21:27

Pretoria - The wife of former Ekurhuleni metro police chief Robert McBride denied in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Thursday that a fake medical certificate was sought from a Mabopane doctor the night of his alleged drunken driving accident.

This was contrary to evidence presented by three of McBride’s former colleagues who have turned State witness.

Stanley Sagathevan, Patrick Johnson and Itumeleng Koko told the court they met at McBride's house where they were instructed to get a fake certificate.

This letter was allegedly obtained from Dr Joseph Moratioa, who is now deceased.

"You were present when that happened?" State prosecutor Guido Penzhorn asked Elizabeth McBride, who answered: "No."

She said only Sagathevan was at her home on the night of the crash on December 21 2006.

"Dr Moratioa examined my husband. I didn’t want a medical certificate from him, I wanted to know that my husband was okay; that he wouldn’t die," she testified.

She said a medical note was obtained from a Dr George Davis, who attended to McBride six days later at the Little Company of Mary hospital in Pretoria.

Headaches

He was taken there later after complaining of headaches which ran down his neck.

Asked if two medical certificates were issued, McBride said the one from Davis was the only one she was aware of.

"There is no engineering behind the note," she said.

Moratioa apparently claimed that he examined McBride on the night of the accident.

According to his medical certificate, McBride was "sweaty", "disorientated" and had low blood pressure, but there was "no proof of alcohol consumption".

Moratioa had faced charges of fraud and defeating the ends of justice due to the alleged falsification of a medical certificate which was believed to have been issued to McBride without a medical examination.

McBride told the court that on the night of the crash she received three phone calls from her husband, who she said was "confused" at the time, informing her of the accident but saying he was still coming home.

They had had a date and she was home waiting for him to come back from the Ekurhuleni metro police department's Christmas party, which he had been attending.

"I started worrying when he kept on calling to tell me he was in an accident. Then I started to worry that something was going on. He was confused."

She testified that Segathevan brought her husband home. He was conscious. Segathevan gave her a note from a doctor about tests she needed to do on her husband to ensure he did not slip into a coma.

"Stanley (Segathevan) didn’t know what had happened, neither did Robert," she said.

Bleeding

Her husband was bleeding from the side of his head and his back.

McBride told the court that although she suggested her husband go to hospital, he did not want to because he did not want to be in the public eye.

Instead, he went to the home of Dr Gomolemo Mokae, the author of his biography and a medical doctor he knew and trusted. Mokae had refused to examine him at his home.

McBride then went to Moratioa’s surgery where he was examined.

"His results for diabetes were low. We gave him something to eat before we went home," said his wife.

She said a medical certificate was obtained from Davis after the then Ekurhuleni mayor requested it.

McBride faces charges of fraud, defeating the ends of justice and drunk driving.

Smell

Most witnesses have testified that McBride was drunk because he slurred his words, had difficulty walking and smelled of alcohol.

Supporting a medical expert’s testimony that suggested that McBride's breath smelled odd as a result ketosis, his wife said he did occasionally have a "potent chemical smell".

"It’s like you open a bottle of vodka. I got used to it over the years. There are problems generally linked to it. It meant he needed something to eat," she told the court.

The medical expert, Professor Antoine van Gelder testified earlier that, on the night the crash, and probably even days earlier, McBride suffered from hypoglycaemia, a condition caused by incorrect diabetes medication.

- SAPA

Read more on:    robert mcbride  |  johannesburg  |  accidents
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