Axed Ekurhuleni metro police chief Robert McBride will appeal the decision to dismiss him, according to a newspaper report on Tuesday.

Ekurhuleni city manager Patrick Flusk told The Times that McBride had informed him of his plans to appeal last week’s decision to fire him.

“I have received a letter from him indicating his intent to appeal the council’s decision. He is well within his rights to do so and if he does lodge the appeal [formally] I will appoint people to defend the council,” said Flusk.

The decision was taken at a council meeting on Thursday, more than two months before his contract expired and with his drunken driving trial still underway. Reports earlier this month indicated that he had returned to work, a direct violation of the special leave he had been put on pending the outcome of his drunken driving trial.

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. The council said it would still pay his legal fees and salary until his contract expired at the end of November.

McBride’s career, first as political activist and later as law enforcement official, has made news headlines repeatedly, starting with his detention in 1998 by Mozambican authorities on gun running charges. His drunken driving trial resumes on October 16.