Slain underworld kingpin in focus in ex-Mandela cop’s case

2017-03-28 08:23
Cape Town police search for clues in the car in which underworld boss Cyril Beeka was shot dead in an apparent hit. (Leanne Stander, Die Burger)

Cape Town police search for clues in the car in which underworld boss Cyril Beeka was shot dead in an apparent hit. (Leanne Stander, Die Burger)

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Cape Town – The name of a slain underworld kingpin has repeatedly cropped up in a mammoth case involving a top policeman in the Western Cape High Court.

Cyril Beeka was mentioned a number of times during two weeks of testimony by 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.

This civil trial is set to resume on Tuesday.

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 businessmen.

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

Under investigation

Throughout his testimony over two weeks, Lincoln has referred to Beeka, who he was investigating.

Lincoln said he had pretended to be friends with those he was probing to get close to them.

Beeka, a former bouncer boss who worked for RAM Hand-to-Hand couriers, and who was rumoured to have also worked for the National Intelligence Agency, was murdered in Bellville South on March 21, 2011. He was 49.

Despite just more than five years having lapsed since his murder, no arrests had been made for his killing.

Beeka’s name is still being associated with decades-old probes and undercover operations.

Lincoln had testified that as part of his infiltration of individuals allegedly involved in organised crime in the mid-1990s, he had spent time with some of them.

This included Beeka and Yuri "the Russian" Ulianitski, who was gunned down in Milnerton in 2007.

Drunk driving claims

Lincoln was previously charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident on July 27, 1997.

During his testimony, Lincoln had said that before the crash he was involved in, he had been out with people including Beeka. Some had claimed he was drunk at the time. Lincoln denied this.

Directly after the crash, in which Lincoln said he was injured, he had called Beeka. He said he left the scene because he had needed medical treatment.

Lincoln was acquitted of the drunk driving charge.

In court proceedings in 2002, Peter Viljoen, a former member of the presidential unit who had also investigated Palazzolo, testified there had been warrants against Palazzolo and Beeka.

Threats

Viljoen had testified that the warrants had to do with intimidation of Lincoln at his home.

Beeka first phoned and wanted Lincoln to go and see Palazzolo, to make the case against him disappear, Viljoen had testified at the time.

Lincoln did not go ahead with this.

"Beeka physically arrived at his house and threatened him to come see Palazzolo."

This had happened in mid-1998.

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

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