Waterkloof case a ‘political football’

2011-12-17 19:56

The lawyer for two of the Waterkloof Four killers has accused the prisons department of holding her clients “hostage”.

Attorney Jenny Brewis, assisted by senior advocate Jaap Cilliers, who also acted for former top cop Jackie Selebi in his corruption case, said the department of correctional services was turning the case into a “political football”.

“They are totally ignoring court orders and are chasing after emotions. Each case was evaluated by the Zonderwater parole board and the case management committee, both of which agreed to their release,” said Brewis.

She said they would approach the North Gauteng High Court again tomorrow for another contempt of court order against the department.

At the same time, the department will attempt to overturn the original court decision that ordered the release of Reinach Tiedt and Gert van Schalkwyk on correctional supervision.

Zacharia Modise, correctional services deputy chief commissioner, declined to explain why they had ignored two court orders.

“We are appealing against the court order on Monday,” was all he would say. Prisons boss Tom Moyane referred all questions to Modise.

There was drama at Zonderwater prison on Friday when Brewis, accompanied by two police officials, was refused entry to the prison where she wanted to serve the interim order and get the men released.

City Press understood that Brewis planned to sue the department on behalf of her clients, although she declined to comment.

The department could not explain why it wasn’t aware the Zonderwater parole board had approved the conversion of sentences as far back as October.

Lukas Muntingh, project coordinator for the Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative, said the purpose of correctional supervision was to limit the exposure of prisoners who were behaving well to the “ills of the prison system”.

Muntingh said the two got off “quite lightly” because correctional supervision was not limited only to house arrest. The court could have added a variety of other punishments.

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