The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has thrown out top cop Andre Lincoln’s malicious prosecution claim against the state.
In 1998, Lincoln – then the commander of the Presidential Investigative Task Unit and now the head of the Anti-Gang Unit – was brought up on a string of charges, including theft and fraud.
Among the accusations was that known Sicilian mob boss Vito Palazzolo paid Lincoln’s expenses on a trip to Angola.
Lincoln was convicted on 17 of 47 counts and sentenced to nine years in prison.
Both the conviction and sentence were overturned on appeal and Lincoln launched a civil suit against the police, claiming R15 million.
The case was initially dismissed but again he took it on appeal and was successful, with the majority judgment of a full bench of the Western Cape High Court finding no “reasonable or probable cause to set the law in motion for the prosecution”.
However, SCA Acting Judge Jannie Eksteen last week set aside the high court’s ruling, delivering judgment on another appeal – this one by the state.
“The majority is correct that the reasonable and probable cause which may be apparent from the docket could have been contrived. That was Lincoln’s case. But what the majority lost sight of was that Lincoln bore the onus to prove this… He did not even attempt to do so.”