Ekurhuleni coughs up R7m for top cop cases

The Ekurhuleni municipality has spent about R6,9 million on nine cases pertaining to Ekurhuleni metro police chief Robert McBride and senior officers, Ekurhuleni mayor Duma Nkosi said yesterday.

The Ekurhuleni municipality has spent about R6,9 million on nine cases pertaining to Ekurhuleni metro police chief Robert McBride and senior officers, Ekurhuleni mayor Duma Nkosi said yesterday.

However, only R578149,61 had been spent on lawyers' fees and other expenses relating to McBride's December 2006 car accident.

He said it was "pre-emptive" to comment on the rest of the expenses until he had received the other eight reports from city manager Patrick Flusk.

Nkosi did not discount the possibility of fraud and corruption and that some of the funds may need to be recovered.

Referring to photocopies of three invoices given to the media by independent Ekurhuleni councillor Izak Berg, Nkosi said the invoices had not been stamped and signed and were in fact photocopies.

The information would have to be verified because duplicates were not allowed to be submitted as evidence.

"Anyone can generate an invoice," he said.

Councillor Berg did not know the source of the duplicates as he had received them "thrown over the wall, in his post box and through faxes".

Flusk said the information had not been given to him, to the financial department nor to the department of community safety.

Nkosi said McBride's lawyers, Dehal and Associates, had sent a grievance letter to the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD) after the invoices had surfaced.

He said the lawyers felt they had been "grossly misrepresented" in the media and were considering suing the municipality. Secondly, they were owed legal fees.

He said Flusk would report back to him on the matter of outstanding fees and whether they should be paid and if the services were rendered.

Regarding the funds paid to date for McBride's legal fees, he said an amount of more than R10000 could be spent on an employee's legal fees after consultation with the mayor.

"At a council meeting, no one objected to supporting the chief of police."

Flusk said he had appointed the Durban-based lawyers on McBride's request. However, there were still limitations on how much the municipality would spend.

Nkosi said he was being patient but had requested the National Prosecuting Authority to "speed up" its cases against McBride.

Nkosi said that despite the allegations against EMPD officers, the majority were hard-working, honest and committed.

"I know now they are doing the best they can," he said. - Sapa

X