No scope for appeal: Waterkloof lawyer

2011-12-20 17:36

Pretoria - The lawyer for two of the so-called "Waterkloof 4" said on Tuesday that she considered their release under correctional supervision as finalised and with no scope for an appeal.

Jenny Brewis, representing Reinach Tiedt and Gert van Schalkwyk, was reacting to the department of correctional services' earlier statement that it wanted to appeal the decision by the Zonderwater parole board.

"It wasn't me that brought this about. Do they want to appeal against themselves? How do they want to appeal against themselves?" asked Brewis.

She said that she was of the opinion that "the matter is finalised".

The commuting of the sentence as recommended by the parole board and confirmed by the courts was not an action that her clients had undertaken, but had been carried out by the department itself, said Brewis.

She said, therefore, she did not believe that there was any scope for the department to make an appeal.

Contempt of court

Correctional services spokesperson Zacharia Modise said earlier on Tuesday that Brewis had agreed not to pursue contempt of court charges against two correctional services officials.

She confirmed this, adding that the department would have to pay the legal costs.

They had initially sought to pursue charges against the two officials after the department failed to abide with a Pretoria Regional Court decision to have Van Schalkwyk and Tiedt's sentences commuted to house arrest.

But the pair were released on Monday after the agreement was made.

However, this did not mean that the department could not appeal their release under correctional supervision.

"Corrections is going to appeal this matter [the commuting of the sentences]. The agreement does not affect our decision to appeal," said Modise.

Court wrangle

Van Schalkwyk was released on Monday together with Tiedt, following a court wrangle over the decision by the parole board to commute their 12-year jail terms to house arrest. They can apply for parole at a later stage.

Schalkwyk and Tiedt were imprisoned along with Christoff Becker and Frikkie du Preez in 2008 for killing a homeless man who was never identified, and assaulting another at a park in Pretoria in 2001.

Bekker and Du Preez, who are serving their sentences in Pretoria Central, had not been released and there was no word as to whether they would be.

Modise said that no applications for Bekker and Du Preez had so far been received or were being processed by the Pretoria Central Prison parole board.

He said the department would oppose any decision to commute the sentences of Bekker and Du Preez.

Modise could not say when the appeal against Van Schalkwyk's and Tiedt's sentences would be lodged.

  • mhlengwem - 2011-12-20 18:30

    SA legal system favours the richboys indeed. Where else can an offender be released without even serving a quarter of their sentence? I am still to find such a country. This may be one reason other countries refuse south africans sentenced abroad to be transfered to serve here because they know it will not even be a quarter of the sentence. I hope the country take a re-look at this serves no one at all!

      roger.pacey - 2011-12-20 18:56

      "SA legal system favours the richboys indeed. Where else can an offender be released without even serving a quarter of their sentence?" Agreed. Look at Tony Yengeni and Schabir Shaik, yet there does not appear to be the political will to ensure that the rich and/or politically connected are treated the same as everyone else.

      Kevin - 2011-12-20 19:04

      You are correct the law always favours those who can afford it. In this case though the Dept of Correctional Services initiated the proceedure of recommending these criminals for correctional supervision, the question is why if it is not in terms of policy? The lawyers for Tiedt and van Schalkwyk only forced Correctional Services to comply with a ruling they had initiated. Since their out of court settlement, which was to comply with the court order in return for the dropping of charges against the Correctional Services personnel involved, will be paid by the taxpayers. The personnel who caused all of the legal problems and costs get off scot free for their incompetance, it is they who should pay the costs out of their own pockets. I believe they were released prematurely again this was caused by Correctional Services and their incompetance. At no time was their parents wealth instrumental in getting them released, unless a bribe was paid to the Correctional Services personnel involved.

      Johan - 2011-12-20 20:33

      What about Shaik?

      Rene - 2011-12-21 09:33

      @mhlengwem, I don't know how you can say that. This whole issue was instituted by the Courts and Parole Board - nothing to do with the boys. The lawyers and parents did not pursue this - they got paroled because of their behaviour hence their early release - with conditions of course.

  • Renier - 2011-12-20 21:46

    This incident again shows the impact of HEADLINES. Most people do not read any further and immediately goes to "war" one way or the other. Again please note that the process to release was initiated by the DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES and not anybody else.

      Van - 2011-12-21 02:13

      Glad there are two of us that can read. Seems that the rest burnt their schools down when they were supposed to learn how to read,

  • Theo - 2011-12-21 00:27

    They said a sentence could only be changed from prison term to correctional sentence if less than 5 years of such a sentence is left. However, section 276 (i) of the act in question, says that a prisoner has to do minimum one sixth of their sentence, before they could be released under strict correctional supervision and serve the rest of the sentence at home. So if the article was changed to section 276 (i), they had to do 2 years (one sixth of 12). Then a prisoner can also get time off for being a model prisoner and/or good behaviour and also if they reported a crime that was committed in prison. So, instead of wondering whether they should have done 3 and a half or four or six years, why don't they reconsider Shabir Shaik's apparent terminally ill condition for which he was given medical parole. His release was exactly three years ago and if the parole was justified, he would be close to death now. If he isn't, I can't see why he shouldn't have to complete his sentence until he qualifies for normal parole.

  • Atholl - 2011-12-21 05:59

    The Law, Justice and Correctional sector is serviced by 'humans' with devious minds, minds that are overpowered and motivated at the sniff of money. In an age where every other sector, including sport, has been updated by technology (computers) in order to remove or lessen the 'human error' :: .. the one sector that affects all the others, (Law, Justice Correction) has made no attempt to use technology to eliminate the human factor. Sport initially resisted technology {cyclops(tennis), tmo(rugby), 3rd umpire (crick), hawk eye (crick)} ... but after technology was used, the game was cleaned up, people trusted the result, grounds filled up and sponsors started queuing with $$'s. The Shaik, Selebi, Tiedt, v Schalkwyk outcomes .... will has more acceptance when the human (error) factor is lessened.

  • johanspokie.rossouw - 2011-12-21 09:38

    hahaha the entire system is corrupt anyway. If you are white and get out of jail your seemingly very rich somehow (p.s the system is failing) if you are black you get an automatic get jail out of free card because you are still scared from apartheid even tho most of the youth was like 5years old in apartheid and dont know cupcakes about anything. So the point is South Africa is screwed with any law services or what so ever. (these oaks beet up homeless guy 12 years in prison, Taxi driver killed 10 children he got bail and is sitting comfy at home with family for chrismas and new years) no tell me what the bloody hell is happening lol the entire country is a joke

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