Evidence in former Ekurhuleni police chief Robert McBride’s drunken driving trial was stolen in a break-in at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court at the weekend, reports said on Monday.

Presiding magistrate Peet Johnson told The Star newspaper that notes and personal reminders of issues to raise during the trial were stolen from his office on the fourth floor.

“They knew exactly what they were looking for. I have a lot of notes on the McBride case. However, I believe there are copies of everything –except, of course, my notes,” said Johnson.

Pretoria police spokeswoman Captain Agnes Huma told Sapa she could confirm that there was a break-in at the court on Friday night, but could not say if the documents stolen were related to the McBride case.

“On Friday night, there was a break-in at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court. There were some documents stolen — they took only documents –but what documents is still under investigation,” said Huma.

In April this year, a gang of bogus policemen overpowered security guards at the Johannesburg High Court and stole evidence relating to the McBride trial, The Times reported on Monday.

McBride was put on special leave last July after being charged with drunken driving, defeating the ends of justice and fraud after he crashed his metro car in December 2006. He was axed as police chief in September.

McBride is expected to appear in court again on November 21.