Ex-police commissioner named in Mandela ‘assassination plot’ to testify

2017-05-15 06:30
Andre Lincoln. (Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

Andre Lincoln. (Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - Former national police commissioner George Fivaz is set to testify in the Western Cape High Court on Monday, in the mammoth trial focusing on a top policeman that Nelson Mandela chose to head an elite presidential investigative unit.

If he was called as a witness, it would be his first time testifying in the current matter. Fivaz had testified in previous, related court cases.

The current case had been brought by Major-General Andre Lincoln.

Fivaz’s testimony was expected to touch on several high-level investigations from two decades ago. It could include a probe into an alleged assassination plot targeting Mandela.

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

He was arrested when criminal allegations against him and others in the unit surfaced. Lincoln faced 47 criminal charges and was convicted of 17 in 2003. He appealed and was acquitted of all the charges.

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

Previously, during an opening statement in the matter, Lincoln’s advocate Johann Nortje said his client had been appointed to head a covert intelligence operation, Project Intrigue.

Nortje said information supplied to the presidential task unit included that there was a plot to assassinate Mandela at his inauguration as president in 1994.

“They found a hand-crafted sniper gun in the office of the national commissioner,” Nortje said.
   
This had, according to Nortje, upset Fivaz.

Lincoln previously testified that "necessary steps” were taken to Mandela’s assassination. He said nothing ever came of the investigation.

According to the particulars of claim, Lincoln was "unlawfully investigated and arrested" and that the prosecution against him was started by a Director (Brigadier) Leonard Knipe and Senior Superintendent (Colonel) Piet Rossouw.

This happened in 1998, after Lincoln started to investigate senior police officers and filed reports to then deputy president Thabo Mbeki.

"The then national commissioner of police, John George Fivaz, who disliked [Lincoln's] direct access to the president, instructed Director Knipe and Senior Superintendent Rossouw to investigate [Lincoln]."

Knipe and Rossouw, according to the particulars of claim, acted "on the irate instructions" of Fivaz.


Read more on:    andre lincoln  |  cape town

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