Mandela's ex-top cop Andre Lincoln back in court

2017-05-02 05:29
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 – The policeman previously hand-picked by former president Nelson Mandela to head up an elite investigative team is expected back in the Western Cape High court on Tuesday.

Major General Andre Lincoln is claiming R15m in damages from the minister of safety and security (now the minister of police). He alleges fellow senior police officers realised he had gathered intelligence on their plans, including one to murder Mandela, so they framed him.

He also wants judgment passed over, what his legal team has termed, the "malicious investigation and instigation of prosecution" against him.

Former president Nelson Mandela appointed Lincoln in 1996 to head an elite investigative unit. It was run separately from the police and focused on probing Cape Town based mafioso Vito Palazzolo.

Lincoln, during his civil trial, previously testified that during the presidential investigative unit's initial investigations it was uncovered that Simon Nothnagel, attached to the police's commercial crime unit, was allegedly involved in a counterfeit US dollar operation.

These dollars, according to Lincoln's testimony, were printed at police headquarters in Pretoria.

This investigation led them to uncover the alleged plot to kill Mandela and recover, in police offices, a "handcrafted rifle" which would have been used in the attempt.

The Western Cape High Court last week rejected the police minister’s application of absolution in the Lincoln case. The court said in its ruling, which dealt mostly with Lincoln’s evidence so far, that more was uncovered aside from Nothnagel's involvement in fraudulent transactions involving counterfeit US dollars.

"In collaboration with the American Secret Service, [the unit] also uncovered the so-called Operation Donna in which counterfeit US dollars were being printed in the basement of the SAPS head office in Pretoria, which – together with matric certificates, university degrees and drivers licences – were being printed for various generals within SAPS," the court said.

It was postponed on Wednesday as former high-ranking policeman, Leonard Knipe, who had been scheduled to continue testifying, was hospitalised.

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