Former top cop threatened to 'bring down' ANC, court hears

2017-03-23 17:54
Major-General Andre Lincoln (File, Supplied)

Major-General Andre Lincoln (File, Supplied)

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Cape Town - A voice recording of a former senior policeman allegedly threatening to "bring down" the ANC if a high-level investigation was not stopped, was focused on in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

Zenzile Khoisan, a journalist for roughly three decades, was called to testify about articles he had previously written about a case against Major-General Andre Lincoln.

Khoisan was testifying in support of Lincoln, who is now claiming R15m in damages from the minister of safety and security (now the minister of police) for alleged malicious prosecution.

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

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

In court on Thursday, it emerged that about 16 years ago, Khoisan was given a voice recording relating to the Lincoln matter.

It was apparently an exchange between former presidential unit investigator Abraham Smith and the murder and robbery unit head Leonard Knipe.

Lincoln has since accused the two of working against him to tarnish his name because of his investigations into senior police officers.

On Thursday, a section of an article by Khoisan, which was based on the voice recording, was read out in court.

Recording made to 'to protect himself'

In it, Knipe was quoted as having said that he would "bring down" the ANC government if a certain covert operation into Palazzolo and others was not stopped.

Khoisan testified that Smith had made the recording of Knipe. He said Smith had told him he had done so "to protect himself".

Khoisan declined to say who had given him the recording. As an investigative journalist, he said he could not reveal his source, whom he described as credible and strong. He said he no longer knew where the recording was.

Khoisan said several steps had been taken to ensure the recording was authentic.

He could not be cross-examined immediately because Knipe, who sat in the public gallery watching proceedings earlier this week, was not present on Thursday due to a family issue.

Knipe could, therefore, not give instructions to the legal team opposing Lincoln's claim.

On Thursday, top cop Major-General Jeremy Vearey was also set to have been called as a witness.

But this did not happen. The case is expected to continue on Tuesday.

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

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