Citizen ordered to pay Robert McBride

Ekurhuleni Metro Police head Robert McBride, who has been placed on leave pending his trial for driving under the influence of alcohol and defeating the ends of justice and fraud - was awarded R200000 of the R3,6 million damages claim he lodged against the Citizen newspaper in the Johannesburg High Court yesterday.

Ekurhuleni Metro Police head Robert McBride, who has been placed on leave pending his trial for driving under the influence of alcohol and defeating the ends of justice and fraud - was awarded R200000 of the R3,6 million damages claim he lodged against the Citizen newspaper in the Johannesburg High Court yesterday.

A legal adviser in the case, who did not want to be named, said the editor, the company and columnist Andrew Kenny also have to pay interest at 15,5 percent - 14 days from the date of judgment.

Kenny's column accounted for R100000 of the order.

The case chiefly concerned the editorial comment by acting editor Martin Williams - and an opinion column by freelancer Kenny in September and October 2003.

The articles queried McBride's suitability for the position of metro police chief.

Testifying in court during the case, Williams said the articles were due to McBride's criminal record - that included the bombing of a bar in which 69 people were injured and three killed during the apartheid era.

He wrote that McBride was once detained for gun dealing in Mozambique and also had no experience or academic training as a traffic officer.

Because of this, he was not suitable for the position as the chief of metro police, said Williams. - Sapa

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