Dept welcomes Waterkloof 2 ruling

2013-06-13 14:10
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Back to jail for Waterkloof pair

2013-06-13 12:40

After 18 months of freedom, two of the so-called Waterkloof four are set to return to jail for murder. Watch.WATCH

Johannesburg - The department of correctional services welcomed a court ruling on Thursday that two of the so-called "Waterkloof Four" released under correctional supervision 18 months ago return to prison.

"The department of correctional services welcomes the ruling of the North Gauteng High Court on 12 June in the case where the wrongful conversion of sentence to offenders [Reinach] Tiedt and [Gert] van Schalkwyk into correctional supervision," said chief deputy commissioner James Smalberger.

"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."

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled on Wednesday that Tiedt and Van Schalkwyk return to prison on 10 July.

The two, 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.

‘We will comply with the court ruling’

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

Van Schalkwyk and Tiedt began serving their sentence on 11 August 2008 with their release date being 11 August 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 chairpersons of the case management committee and parole board respectively on 22 August and 3 September last year due to their "wrongdoings".

"We will comply with the ruling of the court," he said.

A full bench of judges set aside district magistrate Peet Johnson's ruling of 15 December 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.

Van Schalkwyk's mother Sarita Stonehouse said: "Due to the sensitivity of the matter, our attorney Jenny Brewis will handle media queries."

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