Saturday, September 10, 2011

R12m in McBride legal fees

09 September, 2011

Ekurhuleni must be reimbursed the R12 million used to pay for the metro's former police chief Robert McBride's legal fees, the DA said on Friday.

"These expenses were in contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act, the Municipal Systems Act and council's own policy, which stipulates that council may only pay up to R10 000 of an employee's legal costs, if the case is of relevance to the municipality," said the Democratic Alliance's Ekurhuleni councillor Michele Clarke.

The DA would hold the ANC, all councillors involved and former city manager Patrick Flusk accountable for the money.

"These were the people that were directly responsible for the Ekurhuleni metro paying for McBride's' legal costs, and they should answer for their decisions."

The DA wanted the ANC to table a report to the council showing how the money would be reimbursed.

"We also want an item tabled indicating when and how the municipality will take legal action in accordance with the advice obtained from the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society."

She said the society had advised Ekurhuleni to take legal action against McBride's attorneys, as their fees had been inflated.

Ekurhuleni mayoral spokesman Zweli Dlamini said the city would only follow up on the reimbursement of the legal fees after the outcome of McBride's appeal.

"It would be premature to demand to be reimbursed now when [McBride] said he would appeal the sentence."

The council took a resolution that should McBride lose the case, the city would recover all the legal fees, said Dlamini.

The Pretoria Magistrate's Court sentenced McBride to five years imprisonment on Thursday. He got two years for driving under the influence of alcohol and five years for defeating the ends of justice, of which two years were suspended for five years.

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