Former Independent Police Investigation Directorate (Ipid) head Robert McBride yesterday failed to appear before the commission of inquiry into state capture to be cross-examined by former police minister Nathi Nhleko’s legal representatives.
Instead, McBride, who recently started working at the State Security Agency, asked through his legal team to be excused as he had not had enough time to brief the team he appointed only last week.
McBride was meant to face questioning from advocate William Mokhari SC on behalf of Nhleko after he had, in his previous appearance at the commission, implicated the former police minister on, among other things, the suspension of erstwhile Hawks boss Anwa Dramat.
But his legal representative, advocate Katherine Harding, told the commission: “Mr McBride seeks to be excused from today’s proceedings because when he received notices (July 10) was not in a position to advise legal representatives.
“He then appointed legal representatives on July 23 to advise him on the notices and the scheduled cross-examinations… he and his legal team require more time to consider new documents provided to him in the past few days.”
Mokhari took exception to this, particularly that it was only communicated on the eve of McBride’s scheduled appearance when he had been give the notice from July 10.
“We wish to place on the record our displeasure to be informed [of McBride’s request to be excused] late, when we had taken the time to prepare and, more so, that he was informed on the 10th and should have articulated these views much earlier.”
Commission chair deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo granted McBride’s request to be excused. A new date will be set.