Unit head wants documents, tapes

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Copy of CW_Andre Lincoln 20 INLSA Andre Lincoln is suing the state for R14.9 million. Photo: Brenton Geach

 

Cape Town - Former Presidential Investigation Task Unit head André Lincoln has lodged an application asking the Western Cape High Court to compel the State to hand over documents and audio recordings he needs to prepare for a multimillion-rand damages action he has instituted.

Lincoln, a former commander of the unit, which was set up in 1996 by then-president Nelson Mandela, is claiming R14.9 million from the ministers of police and justice.

He instituted the action after he was acquitted of fraud, alleging that the case against him had been maliciously instigated and conducted.

He wants the ministers to be held vicariously liable because their employees allegedly intended to harm his reputation and career prospects.

Lincoln was arrested in February 1998 on charges of fraud, theft, conspiring to steal privileged documents, unlawful use of state furniture, and defeating the ends of justice.

His trial ran for more than two years, and on November 18, 2002 he was convicted of 15 fraud charges, as well as charges of driving under the influence of liquor. He was acquitted on the remaining 30 charges.

On January 24, 2003, Wynberg Regional Magistrate Awie Kotze sentenced him to an effective nine years in prison.

He was also fined R1 000 (or 100 days in prison) for leaving the scene of an accident, and was ordered to repay the police more than R115 000 for fraudulent claims.

Days later, he was granted R2 000 bail pending his appeal.

On October 31 that year, he was fired from the police force.

However, the convictions were overturned in 2009 by Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso and Justice André le Grange.

In papers filed as part of his damages action, Lincoln said the judges had said that “the entire trial consisted of intrigue, name-dropping and very little else”, and that “all the facts just scream out that there was no fraud in this case”.

The court papers detail the effects the case had on Lincoln, who had a heart attack in 2006 as a result of the stress of the prosecution.

The case also had financial consequences for him and his family.

 

The ministers have denied the allegations.

The application is scheduled for April 23.

Weekend Argus


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