Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cost of McBride trial to overtake Zuma’s

Robert McBride looks set to overtake Jacob Zuma as South Africa’s ‘most expensive public official on paid vacation’, eating away more than R11 million of public money in legal fees.

The Ekurhuleni Metro police chief is demanding an extra R2,6 million from the Metro – driving up his bill for legal fees alone to R10,9 million.

Officially, the Metro makes provision for a maximum expenditure of R10 000 per person.

Last month a parliamentary reply revealed that the state had shelled out about R9,7 million for Zuma’s corruption trial.

This means he still clocked in at R1,2 million less than the Metro police chief.


Yesterday, it came to The Citizen’s attention that City Manager Patrick Flusk was attempting to push approval for the additional chunk of change through the Metro’s public safety committee.

The Independent Ratepayers’ Association (Irasa) reacted angrily to the news, saying it appeared Flusk was doing this to avoid bringing the matter before council.

Mayoral spokesman Prince Hamnca was unaware of the situation and referred us to the office of the City Manager.

He, however, could not be reached yesterday.

Officially, McBride is still on “special leave” with full pay – pending the outcome of his trial for drunken driving, defeating the ends of justice and fraud.

His contract is up for review in November.

McBride’s counterpart, Bongani Jonas, is also on suspension with full pay while the City of Cape Town conducts an internal investigation into his conduct.

In June, President Thabo Mbeki also extended national police commissioner Jackie Selebi’s employment contract by a full year.

Selebi went on voluntary leave in January.
The state is now footing the bill for his criminal trial.

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