Major-General Andre Lincoln has been on the stand since Monday in his R15 million lawsuit against the then ministers of Safety and Security and Justice and Constitutional Development. File picture: Brenton Geach/Independent Media
Testifying in an ongoing trial in which senior policeman Andre Lincoln is suing the State for R15 million, former police investigator Leonard Knipe testified that he couldn’t recall criminal claims against the ANC.

Lincoln is suing for damages suffered when he was “maliciously” criminally charged while investigating secret police activities involving gangs in the Western Cape.

Yesterday Knipe, who was tasked with probing the Presidential Investigative Task Unit, said he “does not recall” allegations in which another former member of the presidential task unit, Abraham Smith, is implicated.

The letter from a police officer “Van der Westhuizen” read by Lincoln’s lawyer, Johan Nortje, stated among other things that the ANC “had financial difficulty” and in an attempt to fund the 1999 election campaign, “the ANC sold drugs”. Nortje further read that “Bantu Holomisa was given a position in government because he knew too much”.

In 1996, then president Nelson Mandela tasked Lincoln with heading a unit to investigate Cape Town-based Italian mafioso Vito Palazzolo.

Lincoln was tasked with, among other matters, investigating Palazzolo’s links to government officials, police officers and businessmen.

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

He was convicted of a number of charges, linked to Palazzolo, for which he was later acquitted.