Absent witness causes delay in ex-Mandela cop's case

2017-03-28 12:56
Major-General Andre Lincoln (File, Supplied)

Major-General Andre Lincoln (File, Supplied)

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Cape Town - The major trial involving the policeman previously hand-picked by former president Nelson Mandela to head an elite investigative unit is set to resume in April.

Proceedings were expected to go ahead in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday, but instead the matter was postponed. A witness, Zenzile Khoisan, a journalist for roughly three decades, was not present.

Last week, Khoisan testified about a recording of a conversation between two police officers, during which one allegedly threatened to "bring down" the African National Congress government.

Khoisan had been testifying in support of Major-General Andre Lincoln. Lincoln is claiming R15m in damages from the minister of safety and security (now the minister of police) for alleged malicious prosecution.

In 1996, Mandela tasked Lincoln with heading up a presidential investigative unit to probe Cape Town-based Italian mafioso Vito Palazzolo and his links to government officials, police, and businessmen.

Police investigations

Criminal allegations against Lincoln and others in the unit then surfaced, leading to Lincoln's arrest.

He believes he was "maliciously prosecuted" because of his direct access to Mandela and investigations into senior policemen.

Last week, the court heard that Khoisan was given a voice recording relating to the Lincoln matter about 16 years ago.

It was apparently an exchange between former presidential unit investigator Abraham Smith and the robbery and murder unit head Leonard Knipe.

Lincoln accused the two of working against him to tarnish his name because of his investigations into senior police officers.

A section of an article Khoisan wrote, which was based on the voice recording, was read out in court.

Knipe was quoted as having said that he would "bring down" the ANC government if a certain covert operation into Palazzolo and others was not stopped.

Khoisan testified that Smith had made the recording of Knipe. He said Smith had told him he had done so "to protect himself".

Khoisan declined to say who gave him the recording.

He would have been cross-examined about the tape on Tuesday, but did not arrive at court.

The case will resume on April 20.

Read more on:    police  |  andre lincoln  |  cape town  |  corruption  |  crime

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