Prison boss to challenge Waterkloofers’ release into parents’ care

2011-12-20 00:00

TWO of the so-called Waterkloof four were at their parents’ homes last night, but the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) wants them back in jail.

Gert van Schalkwyk and Reinach Tiedt, who have served just more than three years of their 12-year prison sentences for murdering a homeless man, were released from Zonderwater prison at Cullinan yesterday to serve the rest of their sentences under corrective supervision and house arrest.

This follows the conversion of their prison sentences to corrective supervision by the Pretoria regional court last Thursday on the recommendation of Zonderwater’s parole board.

However, the DCS refused to release them and they spent the weekend in jail, despite a further order by the Pretoria high court. Yesterday, DCS also refused to release them until a settlement was reached in the afternoon with their legal team.

Van Schalkwyk and Tiedt’s lawyer, Jenny Brewis, said the settlement involved releasing the two of them on corrective supervision on condition that no steps would be taken against the DCS officials who disregarded the two court orders. The DCS will also pay the men’s legal costs for the high court application.

DCS deputy chief commissioner for corrections Zacharia Modise said last night a court application would follow “later” to “challenge” the regional court order.

Asked why, he said an inquiry is being conducted by the DCS because policies were disregarded.

Following yesterday’s settlement, senior DCS officials visited the other two members of the Waterkloof four, Christoff Becker and Frikkie du Preez, in Pretoria Central Prison.

Brewis said a family member of either Becker or Du Preez phoned to tell her the news.

Neither of the two has yet submitted an application for a conversion of their sentence. They do not share Tiedt and Van Schalkwyk’s legal team and are in Pretoria Central Prison, which has its own parole board. That is why they were not a part of the conversion process of the two who were released.

Van Schalkwyk was taken from Zonderwater to his parents’ home outside Bronkhorstpruit by the DCS at about 2 pm.

Tiedt left the Poynton building (the DCS’s head office) in the Pretoria CBD with his father, Chris, soon after 4 pm.

When asked by the media for a comment, Tiedt junior responded with a friendly “not today” and “thank you”.

Tiedt senior said by phone, “Tonight we’re going to have a braai.”

Brewis said Tiedt will live with his parents. At the weekend, Rapport ran a story on his girlfriend, 45-year-old Hettie Kruger, who implied that he would live with her.

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