State withdraws child abuse charge against IPID head Robert McBride

2018-03-20 09:26
Robert McBride (File, Netwerk24)

Robert McBride (File, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - The State has provisionally withdrawn a charge of child abuse against IPID head Robert McBride in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Tuesday morning. 

READ: IPID head Robert McBride faces imminent arrest

McBride appeared briefly in the dock as the State announced that the matter was being provisionally withdrawn. No reason was given. 

McBride was charged with child abuse and an alternative charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, after allegedly assaulting one of his daughters in 2017.

McBride's attorney Jaco Hamman told News24 on Tuesday that they were happy with the decision. 

At his last court appearance the court heard that McBride had abandoned his representations on why he should not be prosecuted and that he would like to follow through with the trial.

Hamman also announced that they intended on calling McBride‘s youngest daughter, who cannot be named as she is a minor, as a witness for the defence.

This is the same daughter that McBride was able to see and make contact with after he brought an application to have her excluded from the list of witnesses that he was not allowed to make contact with.

In November last year, Magistrate Ignatius du Preez found in favour of McBride's application, amending bail conditions to exclude one of his daughters listed on the witness list.

He said the amendment was in the interests of justice and fairness and would not be detrimental to the prosecution or the case if the application is granted.

Du Preez further said that there would be no limitations to the access granted to McBride and questioned why the State had not yet obtained a witness statement from this particular daughter.

"If the prosecution was serious about this witness, they would have obtained a statement by now," said Du Preez.

"The court is not convinced that a limitation with access to [one of McBride's daughters] is fair to Mr McBride."

The charges against McBride are related to an incident that allegedly took place while McBride and one of his daughters were driving in a car.

He broke his silence after the news broke in August 2017.

"I admit that I admonished one of my daughters, whom I love very much," McBride said at the time.

He explained that he had become concerned about his daughter's school marks and "somewhat rebellious" behaviour, and had admonished her, but never assaulted her.

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