Mandela was amazed that someone would want to assassinate him - Fivaz

2017-05-15 19:19
Former national police commissioner George Fivaz leaves court after testifying. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Former national police commissioner George Fivaz leaves court after testifying. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town - National police intelligence often received and followed up on information of plans to assassinate the late former president Nelson Mandela, former national police commissioner George Fivaz testified on Monday.

Fivaz said he could not specifically comment on allegations that there had been a plot to assassinate Mandela at his inauguration in 1994, because he was in office from 1995 until 1999.

"Every time I spoke to the late president Mandela about an assassination, he was very amazed about it and his reply everytime to me was: 'But George, how on earth will somebody assassinate me? I am the popular choice of the nation'."

"He was not at all interested in this type of thing. I got the impression that he doesn’t believe it."

Fivaz said the protocol was for the national commissioner to take up assassination intelligence with the subject personally.

They would discuss the veracity of it and then step up security if warranted.

'Blatant lie'

He was testifying in the Western Cape High Court, in a case brought by Major General Andre Lincoln.

Lincoln testified in March that a handcrafted sniper rifle, that was going to be used in the inauguration assassination, was found under the desk of a senior police officer in Pretoria at the time.

Fivaz on Monday called the testimony a "blatant lie".

Lincoln, who Mandela appointed in 1996 to head the elite investigative unit which was run separately from the police and which was focused on probing mafioso Vito Palazzolo, is claiming R15m in damages from the minister of safety and security (now the minister of police).

He believes that fellow senior police officers realised that he had gathered intelligence on their plans, including one to murder Mandela, so they framed him.

He also said there was a push by certain police officers to stifle the investigation into the planned assassination.

'Smoke and mirrors'

In his initial talks with Mandela and Lincoln, Fivaz said they never mentioned this assassination plan.

He also said it was a fallacy that a rifle was found inside the police head office. It was also misleading to say the investigation was stifled.

The gun had been an exhibit in police custody, "sort of illegally booked out for an operation," he said.

"It was recovered by some police official in a police safe house somewhere in Johannesburg, and that is very far away from the police head office."

An investigation followed and the case was submitted to the National Prosecuting Authority for a decision.

"At the time, he [the prosecuting official] regarded the whole saga as smoke and mirrors. He was not at all convinced there was a proper case."

Fivaz said a decision was made not to go ahead with prosecution.

Read more on:    andre lincoln  |  cape town

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