Court arguments on whether ex-Mandela cop was framed

2017-04-24 22:24
Major-General Andre Lincoln arrives for the continuation of his civil trial in the Western Cape High Court. (Caryn Dolley, News24)

Major-General Andre Lincoln arrives for the continuation of his civil trial in the Western Cape High Court. (Caryn Dolley, News24)

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Cape Town - Arguments in the mammoth trial focusing on the policeman previously hand-picked by former president Nelson Mandela to head an elite investigative unit heated up in the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

While Advocate Johann Nortje, who is representing Major-General Andre Lincoln, insisted police officers previously acted maliciously to have his client prosecuted, Advocate Craig Webster, for the police minister, argued this was not the case.

Webster also argued that Lincoln had failed to prove his claims.

He has asked for the court to grant an absolution order in the matter, with costs.

However, Nortje has asked that this be dismissed, also with costs.

Lincoln is claiming R15m in damages from the minister of safety and security (now the position of minister of police) for what he has termed as being maliciously prosecuted.

Convictions

In 1996, 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 businessman.

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

Lincoln was arrested in 1998.

In November 2002, he was convicted on 17 of 47 charges against him.

In 2009, he successfully appealed the convictions.

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

On Monday Webster argued that "motive" was not the same as "malice".

He said Lincoln's arrest two decades ago on a drunk driving charge had set in motion a series of events.

Webster said Lincoln had not called any people who had made affidavits, relating to this charge, to the witness stand.

He said Lincoln had not produced any evidence to show he had been maliciously prosecuted.

Nortje countered that it was not the prosecution itself that set certain events in motion, but it was the actions of certain police officers.

"Our argument is all that Mr Lincoln has to do is prove there is a prima facie case," he said.

Nortje said police officers, especially Abraham Smith, who at one stage served on the presidential investigative unit with Lincoln, had made "false allegations" in statements.

"Smith deliberately omitted material facts."

A decision on the matter is expected on Tuesday.

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

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