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Judge Zondo chastises legal team for McBride’s second postponement

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The Zondo Commission into State Capture was supposed to hear the testimony of Robert McBride, but it was postponed, for the second time, due to legalities.

Former head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), Robert McBride, was due to appear before the Zondo Commission into State Capture for his testimony on Monday, 8 April 2019, but his appearance was postponed because the commission’s legal team failed to notify the people McBride had implicated.

This was not the first time that McBride’s appearance was postponed, as his testimony in February 2019 had to be pushed forward because of the last-minute completion of his statement.

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On Monday morning, 8 April 2019, advocate Paul Pretorius SC, who is the head of the commission’s legal team, filed an application to postpone McBride’s testimony due to the legal team’s failure to notify some 30 individuals who were implicated in his allegations relating to the capture of the criminal justice cluster.

“The failure of the legal team to ensure that 3.3 notices, that is notices to implicated persons to enable them to cross-examine, have not been issued. There was a decision or a proposal at least that in order to reduce formalities, the need for formal applications such as the present should be obviated.

“This particular application is necessary despite that intention to reassure the public and to reassure interested parties that despite the logistical and capacity challenges the commission is facing, it does regard compliance with its rules as a serious matter,” Pretorius said.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo accepted Pretorius’ application but expressed his disappointment in the legal team’s mishap.

“That is not acceptable,” Zondo said.  “The commission does not have a lot of time … therefore we need to use every hour and every minute we have to do the work and hear witnesses.”

McBride’s testimony has been postponed to Thursday, 11 April 2019.

Abenathi Gqomo
[email protected]

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