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Pretoria - Robert McBride is on a shortlist of five candidates for the position of Tshwane's new metro police chief.
A Tshwane metro council panel on Tuesday interviewed the candidates in Munitoria in Pretoria and could make a recommendation on Wednesday.
McBride, the former metro police chief of Ekurhuleni on the East Rand, is one of the favourites for the position of strategic executive head of community safety, even though he is still facing charges of fraud, drunken driving and defeating the ends of justice after an accident in December 2006.
McBride's official car crashed near Centurion on the way back from an office party near Hartbeespoort Dam. The matter will resume on August 25. Another favourite on the shortlist is MD Manganye, a senior police officer.
Playing with fire
A top Tshwane official who is closely involved in the process, said on Tuesday that Tshwane is playing with fire.
"Only one candidate on the shortlist, Pinkie Mathabathe, meets all the legal requirements to fill this important post."
Mathabathe has been in the position in an acting role after controversial commissioner Mpho Mmutle resigned earlier this year.
Mmutle was apparently linked to irregular transactions that had been part of Tshwane's so-called Tetra tender of over R100m.
Mmutle then left and nothing came of the allegations.
The Ekurhuleni metro council axed McBride in 2008.
The council also decided earlier this year not to continue paying the legal fees for the court cases in which McBride was involved.
These cases had at the time cost East Rand ratepayers more than R10m.
McBride said on Tuesday he did not want to comment at this time.
Advocate Trish Armstrong of the national forum for metro police chiefs said apart from Mathabathe, McBride also met the requirements as he still was a registered and qualified metro police officer.
Armstrong said it was McBride's right to apply for the position.
"Anyone is innocent until the contrary is proven."
She said the directives regulating appointments in the metro police (rule 11) clearly stipulated that only a metro police officer could be appointed.
"A member of the police force may therefore not be considered or appointed."
Bongi Lehobye, Tshwane's mayoral committee member for community safety, on Tuesday said the names on the shortlist were confidential and could not be discussed with the media.
DA spokesperson for community safety, Karen Meyer, said the party was stunned that McBride could be considered as a candidate in the first place.
"We are very worried about this. What will happen if he gets the job and is later found guilty?"