vital mcbride evidence stolen in raid on court

Kingdom Mabuza

Kingdom Mabuza

Thieves who raided the Johannesburg high court did not only remove the case docket of the R46 million FNB depot robbery - they also stole sensitive exhibits relating to Ekurhuleni Metro police chief Robert McBride's case.

"I am not going to comment," McBride said yesterday.

When he was pressed on the matter, he calmly said: "Please, stop trying to squeeze anything out of me broer."

National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Tlali Tlali also refused to confirm or deny the theft of the exhibits. "We are not saying anything at this stage."

But Sowetan learnt that a doctor's letter and accident scene measurements and diagrams, which are crucial in McBride's drunken driving case, were removed by the brazen gang that raided the court.

McBride crashed his council-allocated Chevrolet car on the R511, southwest of Pretoria, on December 2006. He was returning to his Ekurhuleni home after a Metro police year-end party at Hartbeespoort Dam.

He is currently facing a charge of drunken driving and defeating the ends of justice. The case will go back to court on Monday.

It is still not clear why the exhibits, which could be used in a case in the Pretoria regional court, were kept at the Johannesburg high court.

Between 10 and 15 men dressed in police uniforms, accompanied by a woman, fooled guards at the high court to open the gate for them on Sunday night.

The bogus cops ordered guards at the court to open the gate, pretending to be looking for the rapist of the woman.

On entering, they rounded up the guards and, after tying them up, they swiftly moved to the 12th floor and raided the office of senior prosecutor, advocate Deon van Wyk, and removed the case docket of the FNB robbery.

They also stole a safe inside the chief registrar's office.

Director of Public Prosecutions Charin de Beer has confirmed that security around Van Wyk had been beefed up after the robbery.

She could not say if the prosecutor had been threatened, but admitted that there was a need to protect him.