News24

No word on Waterkloof ruling appeal

2012-01-06 22:08

Pretoria - The stepfather of one of the "Waterkloof Four" said on Friday the first he learnt of an appeal against the commuting of his son's sentence was in the newspapers.

"We don't know about it. We haven't received anything. The first time we saw something was this morning in the newspaper," Jimmy Stonehouse said.

Last month Stonehouse's stepson Gert Van Schalkwyk was released into the custody of his family, as was Reinach Tiedt.

The two were imprisoned along with Christoff Becker and Frikkie du Preez in 2008 for killing a homeless man and assaulting another at a park in Pretoria in 2001.

The Pretoria News on Friday quoted correctional services deputy commissioner Zacharia Modise as saying the papers had been lodged with the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

Modise could not be reached for comment, but late last month he told Sapa the department would appeal against the decision by the Zonderwater prison's parole board to commute the sentences of Van Schalkwyk and Tiedt to house arrest.

A wrangle between the department and the courts followed after the Pretoria Regional Court ordered Tiedt and Schalkwyk be released from prison.

They walked out of jail on December 19 2011, after serving three years of their 12-year sentences.

Lawyer for the two released men, Jenny Brewis, confirmed her office had received papers from the department, but said she could not comment on them as she was still on leave.

She would return to work next week.

After Modise announced on December 26 that the department would appeal the prison parole board's decision to commute the sentences, Brewis said at the time she considered their subsequent release under correctional supervision as final, and with no scope for an appeal.

She said the commuting of the sentences, as recommended by the parole board and confirmed by the courts, was not an action her clients had undertaken, but had been carried out by the department itself.

Comments
  • Phillie - 2012-01-07 02:22

    I still have that sneaking suspicion that bribery was part of the deal somewhere. Maybe somebody should do a bit of digging?

  • Adellie Havinga - 2012-01-07 02:37

    What message does that send to the public? It's disconcerting that the justice system can be manipulated in such a blatant way. It's a slap in the face for victims of crime and their families.

  • Ian - 2012-01-07 07:47

    I am now 100% convinced that news 24 is a fat boy mouth piece, hence the reason why all our comments were removed

  • Chris - 2012-01-07 08:58

    Funny that correctional service did not do anything to get Shabir back behind bard. Bunch of racists.

      Pierre - 2012-01-07 10:40

      Shabir did not kick a defenseless person to death.

  • Deone Wardle - 2012-01-07 10:55

    Funny correctional services is pursuing these but the thieves from the Public purse get released early!!!

  • Freddie - 2012-01-08 01:18

    What about black rapists, black farm murderers, etc? Why make such a major issue about the release of two of the Waterkloof-four? In cases where the former groups get out of jail early, nobody says a word. Is it perhaps a question of full blown racism (agh again, almost the way it has been in the pre-1994 years, but in the opposite direction) specifically because the killers are white this time and the victim(s) black? Or do the Waterkloof-four attract more publicity because they came from wealthy, white Afrikaner homes and a top school? And yes, why only release two of the four? I agree with Phillie - I believe money speaks. After the expensive court case and Becker's dad who was fired, the money dried up for Becker and Du Preez. The other two families were lucky enough to have some money left to bribe somebody at Zonderwater, but it seems, not enough to bribe the right people at Dept Correctional Services. Then, on the other hand, let's bring the whole matter into perspective: If Black killers can get out of jail early, why not the Whities?

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