New Metro boss 'liked'

NEW CHIEF: Mkhabela Sibeko. Pic. Len Kumalo. 23/01/05. © Sowetan.
NEW CHIEF: Mkhabela Sibeko. Pic. Len Kumalo. 23/01/05. © Sowetan.

Dan Fuphe

Dan Fuphe

It should be easy for Mkhabela Sibeko, the man who takes over from Robert McBride as Ekurhuleni police chief, to win the trust of his colleagues and society.

The Ekurhuleni city deputy manager was the Mr Peace of the area during the violence of the 1980s and 1990s.

Sibeko's appointment came as no surprise to those who know and have interacted with him.

During the political war between supporters of the ANC and IFP in Thokoza in 1984 to 1991, Sibeko was at the forefront of peace negotiations in the area.

He was also instrumental in the removal of the notorious Casspirs and Hippos used by police in Thokoza during peace talks.

Sibeko will be best remembered for being the youngest safety and security head of department during the era of Gauteng MEC for safety and security, Jessie Duarte.

Speaking to Sowetan after his appointment, Sibeko promised to serve the community with honour and dignity.

The appointment was announced by executive mayor Duma Nkosi on Saturday.

According to Nkosi, McBride is being accused of the following:

l Driving under the influence of liquor;

l Recklessness;

l Defeating the ends of justice;

l Fraud; and

l Conspiracy.

The embattled McBride appeared unfazed by the fact that he was to spend the next four months languishing at home with nothing to do.

McBride was asked not to report for work until his next court appearance after charges of drunken driving, fraud and intimidation were levelled against him.

He was relieved of his powers barely 24 hours after he was granted bail of R1000 by a Pretoria court on Friday.

McBride will appear in court again on November 8.

His 'suspension' follows allegations that in December last year he overturned his official vehicle while driving under the influence of alcohol.