Apartheid-era police officers 'decorated' for violent acts - ex-Mandela cop

2017-03-22 13:05
Major-General Andre Lincoln (File, Supplied)

Major-General Andre Lincoln (File, Supplied)

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Cape Town – Certain apartheid-era police officers were lauded for their involvement in the bombing of Community House in Salt River and the killing of activists in Gugulethu in the 1980s, it was heard in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday.

The court also heard that a group of 35 white police officers formed an exclusive club to ensure their interests were protected.

Major-General Andre Lincoln submitted this as part of his testimony while under cross-examination on Wednesday.

He said that it had worried some police officers that he was working in the Western Cape and that he did not have to answer to them.

This was in the mid-1990s.

Lincoln said his work in the Western Cape had especially bothered senior police officer Leonard Knipe, and another officer with the surname Rossouw.

"That did bother them. That was the motive to get me out the province."

He said the officers had been decorated for the bombing of Community House in Salt River in 1987 and for the killing of seven anti-apartheid activists in Gugulethu in 1986.

Club 35 for 'socialising'

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

But criminal allegations against Lincoln and others in the unit then surfaced, leading to his arrest.

He was convicted on a number of charges, of which he was later acquitted.

Lincoln is now claiming R15m in damages from the minister of safety and security (now the minister of police) for what he has termed malicious prosecution.

On Wednesday, Lincoln went on to testify about an apartheid-era group of officers dubbed "Club 35".

"Club 35 looked after the interests of their own. It was exclusive... It was 35 senior-ranking white Afrikaans police officers at the time," he said.

However, it was put to Lincoln that Club 35 had in fact been a group for socialising and getting together for braais.

Lincoln dismissed this.

The case continues.

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

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