Threats and 'lies' – the ex-Mandela cop's case

2017-03-13 07:23
Major-General Andre Lincoln (File, Supplied)

Major-General Andre Lincoln (File, Supplied)

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Cape Town - Years of allegedly underhanded police and politician tactics involving some of the country’s most notorious criminals have led up to a mammoth case expected to proceed in the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

Major-General Andre Lincoln, who in 1996 was appointed by former president Nelson Mandela as the head of the presidential investigation task unit, is claiming R15m in damages from the minister of safety and security (now the minister of police) in the long-running matter.

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

Lincoln was discharged from the police in 2003 after being charged with various crimes relating to Mafioso Vito Palazzolo.

But he was reinstated in 2010 after being acquitted of the charges.

Read more here: Jailed mafioso’s past to be resurrected

Lincoln had been mandated to investigate Palazzolo and his suspected links to high-profile police, politicians and business leaders.

Palazzolo, who was based in South Africa and under investigation for years, was detained in Thailand in 2012 as he was returning to the country.

He is now jailed in Italy, where he was wanted since 2009 for mafia-related links.

Detailed history

In a transcript of court proceedings, in News24’s possession and which dates back to 2002, some of the intricate background leading up to Monday’s case is detailed.

Lincoln was involved in previous high-level probes involving, among others, Eugene De Kock, an apartheid-era death squad leader, as well as apartheid-era hitman Ferdi Barnard.

There was also a probe into an alleged plot by police to have Mandela killed at his 1994 inauguration

In the 2002 court proceedings Peter Viljoen, better known by the first name Piet and a former member of the presidential unit who had also investigated Palazzolo, testified there had been warrants against Palazzolo and suspected underworld kingpin Cyril Beeka.


"[The warrants] had to do with intimidation of [Lincoln] at his home… Cyril Beeka first phoned and wanted [Lincoln] to go and see Palazzolo, he wanted the case that’s here before the court to disappear," Viljoen had testified.

Lincoln did not go ahead with this.

"[So then] Beeka physically arrived at his house and threatened him to come see Palazzolo."

This had happened in mid-1998.

Beeka, a former bouncer boss who was rumoured to have also worked for the National Intelligence Agency, was murdered on March 21, 2011 in Bellville South.

An arrest in this murder case has yet to be made.


Viljoen had testified that then minister of safety and security Sydney Mufamadi had wanted a progress report on broader investigations.

Lincoln would often pass information on to Viljoen about Mufamadi's requests.

The report, according to Viljoen's testimony, was written and he personally faxed it to the minister directly.

But it was heard in court that Mufamadi had previously told the court he had not received any reports.

Again, I will again say… I’m not here to embarrass anybody, but if the minister said that, then he told the court a complete lie," Viljoen had testified.

Read more on:    andre lincoln  |  cape town  |  crime

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