Waterkloof two considering appeal

2013-06-13 15:24

Two of the so-called Waterkloof Four were considering their options after being ordered to return to prison, their lawyer has said.

The two were released under correctional supervision 18 months ago.

Three judges in the high court in Pretoria yesterday ordered Reinach Tiedt and Gert van Schalkwyk – who have each served just less than three-and-a-half years in jail – to return to Zonderwater Prison in Cullinan on July 10.

Their lawyer Jenny Brewis, said today the judgment was expected in view of the way similar legal issues were dealt with a week before in the Western Cape High Court.

“We were not surprised by the outcome. We anticipated it. In terms of high court procedure, we may file an appeal within a specific period of time.”

She said an appeal was being considered, but a final decision had not been made as to whether they would go ahead, or on what grounds.

“We are still perusing the judgment and looking at what options we have,” said Brewis.

Earlier, correctional services department chief deputy commissioner James Smalberger welcomed the decision.

“We have taken this matter to court on the principled basis, meaning that we were of the view that the parole board erred by not referring the matter to court because it was before time,” he said.

Tiedt and Van Schalkwyk, together with Christoff Becker and Frikkie du Preez, each received 12 years in prison after murdering a man in a Pretoria park in 2001.

Smalberger said legislation stated one could not be referred to court when the sentence expiry date was more than five years in the future.

“They were referred prematurely to the court for conversion,” he said.

Van Schalkwyk and Tiedt began serving their sentence on August 11 2008 with their release date being August 11 2020. Therefore, they were only eligible in 2015 to be referred for conversion, he said.

Smalberger said the department, following a disciplinary process, had dismissed the chairmen of the case-management committee and parole board respectively on August 22 and September 3 last year, owing to their “wrongdoings”.

In another statement later today, he said: “Upon their return to Zonderwater Correctional Centre they will merely continue to serve their sentences as if (they had) not (been) released.”

A full bench of judges set aside district Magistrate Peet Johnson’s ruling of December 15 2011, to convert the men’s prison term to correctional supervision.

An application had been brought by the minister and the correctional services department commissioner to set aside Johnson’s order.

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