State Security Agency boss' 'interference' in ex-Mandela cop's case - more details emerge

2017-03-22 16:31
Major-General Andre Lincoln leaves the High Court. (Caryn Dolley, News24)

Major-General Andre Lincoln leaves the High Court. (Caryn Dolley, News24)

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Cape Town - State Security Agency boss Arthur Fraser's "interference" in a previous case against the police officer hand-picked by former president Nelson Mandela to head an investigative unit led the officer to believe complaints relating to this would be futile.

The officer, Major-General Andre Lincoln, testified to this in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday.

He said that Fraser, who at that stage headed the National Intelligence Agency in Cape Town, and Nollie Niehaus, then a senior member of the Western Cape's directorate of public prosecutions, had interfered in a previous matter against him.

This high level of intrusion had made Lincoln hesitant to lodge a formal complaint about an apparent plot by the "old guard" of police to push against the "new guard".

"I did not lay a formal complaint because at the time my complaint wouldn't have been taken seriously," he said.

Last week he said that Fraser had tried to get him to plead guilty to charges put to him and that in exchange, he would be assured no jail time.

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, the police and business people.

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

He was convicted of a number of charges, but was later acquitted.

Warning

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, who was under cross-examination, also referred to Niehaus when testifying.

He said Niehaus had told him not to oppose the charges against him because he would "be found guilty in any case".

However, it was put to Lincoln that his concerns had indeed been investigated and had even resulted in previous court proceedings against him being postponed to allow time for this probe.

Lincoln said he could not recall if the matter was investigated because he did not know who had done so.

He said it was during the period that the case had been postponed that Niehaus had spoken to him about being found guilty.

After this, Lincoln said, he had told his legal counsel, who advised him to rather focus on the criminal matter he was embroiled in at the stage.

The case continues.

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

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