How it happened

2011-12-17 20:35

The men’s prison sentences were changed to sentences of five years of house arrest and community service of 16 hours per month after their lawyers approached prison authorities to initiate the process in October.

This is how it was possible:

» The Correctional Services Act only allows a person who has served at least a quarter of their sentence to be considered for correctional supervision and only if a court orders a change in their sentence.

» The Criminal Procedure Act allows a court to change the sentence if asked to do so by the national commissioner of correctional services or a parole board (as in this case), but only for a person whose earliest release date is within five years.

» At the end of August, Tiedt and Van Schalkwyk had served three years of their prison sentence, therefore qualifying for correctional supervision because they have served a quarter of their full sentence.

» Their earliest possible release date on parole would have been in August 2014 – six years after they started serving their 12-year sentences. The fact that this was within five years enabled them to apply for their sentences to be converted.

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