'McBride was very drunk'

Sipho Masombuka

Sipho Masombuka

Robert McBride approached several doctors to issue a false medical certificate declaring he was sober after he crashed his police car, the Pretoria magistrate's court heard yesterday.

Metro police officer Stanley Sagathevan testified that the first doctor who examined the chief of Ekurhuleni Metro Police after the accident was his cousin, Marvin Sagathevan. The doctor was asked to draw a blood sample from Sagathevan in place of McBride's, but he refused.

McBride has pleaded not guilty to charges of drunken driving and defeating the ends of justice.

Sagathevan, then a senior metro officer and McBride's confidante, testified that his chief was visibly drunk when he left the Ekurhuleni Metro Police year-end function at Hartbeestpoort Dam in December 2006.

"McBride was very drunk. He could not stand straight and his speech was slurred."

He said McBride had consumed a bottle of Johnny Walker Black Label whisky and had asked for more when the first bottle was finished.

"There was no more alcohol and a bottle of Jack Daniels whisky was bought from a nearby liquor store. Johnny Walker could not be bought because the liquor store did not have Johnny Walker.

"McBride said that Jack Daniels was not his favourite, but would do. I shared the drink with him," said Sagathevan.

When he realised that McBride was drunk and in no condition to drive, he offered to take him anywhere he wanted. But the Metro police chief refused, saying he was going to meet a "source" and therefore did not want to be driven by anyone else.

Sagathevan said Joseph Moratioa, a doctor now accused of fraud and defeating the ends of justice by issuing a medical certificate that stated that McBride was sober before the crash, was introduced by a doctor in Ga-Rankuwa.

That doctor could not issue the false certificate because he was no longer practicing medicine.

"McBride paid the doctor, identified as a Dr Gomolemo, R350 and promised him two sheep to slaughter. Gomolemo was very happy about this.

"Me, McBride and my colleagues Patrick Johnston and Itumeleng Koko met Dr Moratioa at Gomolemo's house.

The case continues.