FORMER Ekurhuleni metro police chief Robert McBride has been ordered to stop acting like a bully and behaving like the late apartheid leader PW Botha.
Testifying in his unfair dismissal case against the council at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) in Johannesburg yesterday, McBride and council lawyer Advocate Kennedy Tsatsawane clashed over the line of questioning that sought to establish whether the oral agreement to renew his contract was discussed with officials.
McBride did not take kindly to the new document introduced by Tsatsawane which pointed out that the oral agreement was actually discussed with an official.
"Are you saying the terms of the agreement were discussed at a meeting with Johann Liebrant?" asked Tsatsawane.
With a raised voiced McBride answered: "I said in earlier evidence that I do not remember specifically if it was discussed, but I am now convinced that it was discussed in a meeting. But you put to me something which was wrong yesterday."
Tsatsawane firmly put it to McBride that he was in charge.
"I will ask you questions and you give me answers, I will put things to you and you will comment. You will not point fingers at me because when you point at me you look like a bully and you resemble PW Botha."
McBride insisted that he had an oral agreement that his contract would be extended when it expired last year.
He said former mayor Duma Nkosi, former city manager Patrick Flusk and suspended deputy city manager Mkhabela Sibeko made a commitment that the oral agreement would be put into writing.
He told the commission that his contract was not extended owing to political interference from the office of the mayor, Ntombi Mekgwe.
Flusk later told the commission that Mekgwe tried to stop him from concluding an investigation of an unlawful land deal.
Flusk was testifying as a witness to back McBride in his battle with the metro over his dismissal.
"I had a five-year contract and my employment came to an end on 18 March 2009. The reason for that is that I have been dealing with a number of investigations which she (Mekgwe) tried to stop me concluding," Flusk said.
"Those investigations dealt with land alienation and it involved councillor Neil Diamond in which he stood to make a profit of R200million," said Flusk.
He painted a picture of Mekgwe working tirelessly to block the investigation of the unlawful sale of council land.
Tsatsawane objected to Flusk's evidence which he said was irrelevant to McBride's claim that there was an oral agreement that his contract would be renewed.
"This evidence is irrelevant, it has nothing to do with oral agreement," he said.
Meanwhile, Sapa reports that McBride bears no ill will towards new Ekurhuleni metro police chief Hlula Msimang.
"Hlula Msimang is my comrade. I bear no ill will towards him."
However, if he were Msimang he would not have taken the post if Msimang was involved in a dispute over it, he said.
McBride said he would wait for the outcome of the CCMA matter before deciding whether to contest the appointment.