Waterkloof parole unlawful - DA

2011-12-16 14:45

Johannesburg - The decision to grant parole to two of the "Waterkloof Four" is unlawful and must be appealed, the Democratic Alliance said on Friday.

DA MP James Selfe said the decision to release the two and place them under house was made after the chairperson of the Zonderwater parole board was told by the department of correctional services that the recommendation was unlawful.

"In terms of a previous court decision, conversions of sentences can only occur if an inmate has less than five years remaining of his or her sentence," Selfe said.

"Both the recommendation of the parole board and the decision of the [Pretoria Regional] Court, were therefore wrong and should be set aside."

Gert van Schalkwyk and Reinach Tiedt were scheduled to be released from Zonderwater Prison after being granted parole on Thursday.

Still in jail

Department of correctional services spokesperson Zacharia Modise confirmed on Friday, that the Pretoria Regional Court had granted the two parole, but they still remained in jail.

"The department will study the ruling, and in due course we will let our decision on it be known," Modise said.

Selfe said he had spoken to the department, who assured him its legal advisers were studying the court's judgment with a view to appeal it.

"Those board members who voted for the decision ought to be held personally liable for the legal costs of the appeal," he said.

Tiedt and Van Schalkwyk were among a group of four boys convicted of killing a homeless man and assaulting another at a park in Pretoria in 2001. They were each sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment.

Legal mess

Reports on Friday suggested that the legal representatives for all four were filing an urgent High Court appeal for their release, but Modise said he was not aware of the appeal.

Selfe said the other two members of the "Waterkloof Four", Christoff Bekker and Frikkie du Preez, also needed their sentences converted, if the ruling were to go through.

"If a group of offenders are sentenced for the same crime and given the same sentence, all of them qualify for conversion of sentence at the same time," Selfe said.

"The two remaining offenders... are now in legal limbo... they ought to have been considered at the same time as the other two. It's a legal mess."

On Thursday, Van Schalkwyk's stepfather, Jimmy Stonehouse, said he was not aware if Bekker and Du Preez would also be placed under house arrest.

"They are being kept in a separate prison, so I don't know what the situation with them is."

  • Niki - 2011-12-16 15:01

    Placing them under house (2nd paragraph) also seems unlawful to me...

      Squeegee - 2011-12-16 15:16

      "and in due course we will let our decision on it be known" - as soon as everyone is sober again after the long weekend, perhaps in 2 months time....

      Dante - 2011-12-17 08:51

      i am sorry but the DA are clearly trying to win some black vote here.get a real legal expert to advise you before trying to be smart.Stupid politicians.

      Sharkshoot - 2011-12-17 10:51

      The DA is the only legitimate authority in this mess of a country still fighting for equal rights. If they go we're doomed to hell.

      John - 2011-12-18 17:23

      if Shaik can get away, so can every Sipho, Vusy, Reinach or Gert!

      John - 2011-12-18 17:30

      Crime in 2001. Conviction in 2008. When is time counted from? I understand from time of ARREST. The time from arrest until conviction is called time already served. So WHEN were they arrested?

      Elize - 2011-12-19 15:28

      Dante you have no idea what you are talking about, everybody irrespective of their color should serve their time.

      Vaaldonkie - 2011-12-19 19:11

      The DA is fighting for equal rights for everyone EXCEPT coservative Afrikaners.

  • rbphiri - 2011-12-16 15:22

    Their release is unlawful - What message is the Pretoria Regional Court trying to convey. They only spent 3 years of their 12 year sentence, the mere fact that the victim was homeless doesn't justify the crime nor does it measure a man's worth. I firmly believe they should serve their sentence.

      Ibhubesi - 2011-12-16 16:53

      Shaik is free to name but a few. Selebi will be free soon. They are using these young criminals (white) as a tool to silence the population on their sentence policies surrounding white collar crime. This is nothing else but an ANC political game.

      Omnivore - 2011-12-16 17:12

      @Ibhubesi -- Well then the ANC is barking up the wrong tree. I suspect white South Africans by and large want these guys locked up. We are all sick of crime.

      Itumeleng - 2011-12-16 20:26

      strongly agree, a crime was committed, a life was lost there should be consequences, let them finish the term

      etienne.human - 2011-12-19 15:52

      I agree with you wholeheartedly. John (above here) has a point however: "Crime in 2001. Conviction in 2008. When is time counted from? I understand from time of ARREST. The time from arrest until conviction is called time already served. So WHEN were they arrested?"

      Deon - 2011-12-19 15:57

      The court has the final say unless it is turned around on appeal, therefore it is legal. The parole board went to court and it was granted. Last time I checked the parole board is part / linked to correctional services. I agree on the fact that it should never been granted, but it was done.

      ralph.schminke - 2011-12-20 06:36

      I agree with rphiri here. Do the crime serve the time. The DA is right in protesting this parole. No political agenda here (Yes you 'Dante').

  • Andrew - 2011-12-16 15:25

    So Shaik should be back in prison as he also did not serve the required time and is also still alive and kicking. I begin to wonder on how how so called judicary functions if they err in this way.

      Pierre - 2011-12-17 12:03

      Shaik did not really kick somebody do death now did he.

      Julian - 2011-12-19 10:22

      @Pierre - no he did not, but he was found guilty by a court and sentenced. If he was not politically connected then he would still be locked up. In any case, how many poor people will never have a better life and thus be draining the upper and middle class because Shaik, Zuma and friends are sitting with the cash that if spent wisely could have uplifted millions by now. The point is, if we the people are not satisfied with the laws then there are ways of changing it - until then we all need to abide by it if we want a fair, happy, health and prosperous country.

  • Johnny - 2011-12-16 15:26

    does this mean a DCS official has more say in legal issues than a court? If the same official recons someone should be freed, and a court has sent them to jail, they can be freed? Sounds like a banana republic either way.

      Carla - 2011-12-16 16:14

      DCS is caught up in its own mess. I hope that an urgent interdict is granted that the young men must be released. How can a parole board chair and a magistrate both be wrong when they have all the facts before them and the DCS and the DA who do not have all the facts, be correct? Although the judges in appeals have indicated the desirability of having all the accused as appellants, it is not a rule. Same with parole issues. Especially if one has to look at their rehabilitation since going into jail and further individual responses. The CPA says that the court, on application for conversion to correctional supervision, can "reconsider the sentence". Sorry, am afraid the DA has already lost this round, so has DCS. And the parole board chair and the court have acteed well within their powers.

      Theo - 2011-12-20 06:06

      unfortunayely that is the realty of our legal system. And i do not think it will change soon.

  • pws69 - 2011-12-16 15:30

    I'm really glad the DA is using this case to make the point that our justice system is dysfunctional. That way there can be no "racism" misdirection against them. We really need to get our justice system sorted out ASAP. Thanks for standing up for what is right and proper DA.

      Phuti - 2011-12-16 15:54

      Justice no no;DA r electioneering only.

      pws69 - 2011-12-16 16:23

      @Phuti, Electioneering for what? Elections were earlier this year, with the next one in 2014. I might also add that the ANC spent over R600 million of TAXPAYERS money during their 2009 electioneering. Did you have a problem with that, or is only ok if the ANC steals?

  • Johan - 2011-12-16 15:39

    DA needs to wake up. They are basing their opinion on parole and not correctional supervision. I fear they are pulling an ANC here. In any case the release order has been confirmed by the High Court and the head of the prison is going to have to do some explaining if he does not want to join the inmates.

  • Roy - 2011-12-16 15:50

    Must agree fully with the DA's James Selfe. These guys should serve their full time because it took four of them to kill one defenceless homeless man and then assaulted another one in a park. What they did was despicable and they still showed arrogancy in court when they appeared. NO,they should serve their full time or at least two thirds of their sentence.

      Johan - 2011-12-16 15:57

      Get some of the facts (Google "Avoiding the herd").

      Colleen - 2011-12-18 14:04

      Eugene was killed while he was sleeping, did not even see them coming, he to was defeneless.

      etienne.human - 2011-12-19 16:09

      I agree Roy, but then incarceration refers to time spent "in jail" since arrested, excluding being out on bail. The law is very clear. And being under house arrest / supervision after committing a schedule 2 crime should NEVER be considered - especially after having served only a quarter of the sentence. i am not interested in all these political connotations everybody seems to attach to this saga. This is about the justice system failing us - the people. To me these two are faceless and colourless - a heinous crime was committed and the sentence must be completed according to the prescribed legislation. Dept. of Justice will definately look at this ruling by the Regional court (the magistrate) under a magnifying glass. Would be nice though, if it was shared with the public what exactly the mitigating facts were that was found to bring BOTH the parole board and the court to the same conclusion...

  • Roy - 2011-12-16 15:57

    They should not be placed under house arrest because I doubt very much if they would adhere to the conditions. Their family's would also not be very strict in laying down the rules or see that the conditions that would be set,is carried out. LET THEM STAY IN JAIL!

      Johan - 2011-12-16 16:04

      How can you possibly know that. I fear you represent the majority of South Africans. Pathetic really...

      Moss Mphahlele - 2011-12-16 16:11

      Johan, its clear the rules were not folod. You are pathetic to think they should be released!!

      Johan - 2011-12-16 16:15

      @Moss What rules were not followed? Thank you for reinforcing my argument.

      Johan - 2011-12-16 19:43

      @Omnivore What in my comments refer to race? The fact is that they followed the rules and legitimately qualified for corrective supervision. The idiots now refusing to let them leave the prison was the same idiots that recommended them to the courts to enforce the change in sentence. The reason why I do not loath them so much as you apparently do is because I read the court documentation and there is absolutely no evidence for murder. The body found is totally unrelated to the incident and could not be tied to this case. This was interference and corruption and you bought it hook line and sinker.

      Omnivore - 2011-12-17 01:48

      @ Johan, so your real gripe here is that you believe these men to have been innocent all along? That's a different kettle of fish altogether. I followed the case closely myself and came to a different conclusion. Not that it matters though because neither of us are clairvoyant. My point stands: those guilty of murder and other crimes should serve their sentences, irrespective of race or creed or (political connections).

      Johan - 2011-12-17 09:57

      @Omnivore How did you follow the case? Through the printed media? Can you recall any verifiable fact from the printed media? They printed accusations and conjecture and they never actually investigated the vast amounts of doubt that exist in this case. I am afraid you should read the case documentation if you really want to know. The media is buying readers not selling truth. Think about it.

      Johan - 2011-12-17 11:21

      @Alicia They may have been bullies and they may have been guilty of many other incidents but the fact of the matter is that there were no evidence for what they were convicted of and I suppose you will not be able to appreciate the effect of such corruption until it affects you directly. The lies told by the state witnesses were obvious and suppression of physical evidence was clear. I read the court docs and I choose to question what I read.

      etienne.human - 2011-12-19 16:13

      If they don't adhere to the conditions, they will be back in jail. Don't make assumptions. The facts are what is important. And the fact is that they were released in contradiction with the prescribed legislation. Maybe one of our "gagged" journalists should get those court records and share with the public how the Regional court reached such a ruling.

      etienne.human - 2011-12-19 16:36

      @Johan. I must admit I am quite astonished by you referring to "reading the court documents". I suspect you are referring to the court transcripts? Good luck my friend, that must have kept you busy for quite a while - as students we never even had to do that. As far as the body goes that you "cannot be linked to them"... do you not think Olaf de Meyer would have picked up on that one? He is QUITE the criminal lawyer (and he was satisfied that it was a fair trial.) Or what about the admission of the beating of that man by 3 of the four? Then of course there was the appeal to a full bench AND the Appellate - both of which confirmed BOTH the verdicts and sentences of the court. This case had NO merit to go on appeal in the first place. Due process was followed throughout the trials and was deemed fair by both sides - both the prosecution and the defense. Even the families concurred. So where does this "body cannot be linked" all of a sudden come from?

      Dee - 2011-12-20 11:58

      Maybe they could also go and play golf?! Just saying

      Wikus - 2012-01-12 14:56

      Johan, does it make sence to entrust them for rehab to the home which failed so badly over a period of nineteen years to bring them up as decent citizens?

  • Julie - 2011-12-16 16:06

    I am losing my respect for the DA by the second!

      Omnivore - 2011-12-16 17:08

      I wonder if people like Julie would be so vocal if it was 4 black guys who kicked a white man to death?

      Nkululeko Coobra Gwadiso - 2011-12-17 06:36

      its pple lyk u that make sure we remain separated by race & colour.....Jullie DA if it keeps doing things this way it stands a gud chance of uniting us.....

      Riaan - 2011-12-17 16:07

      Omnivore. Not if you were the white man. LOL

      etienne.human - 2011-12-19 16:23

      Why Julie? Because they question rulings made by state bodies ( AND courts) regardless of colour or gender? Or because they don't support the release of 2 murderers after having completed only 25% of their sentence? Close your eyes to race and look at the facts. This ruling is in contravention with the law and that is all the DA said. So do you think all men who are meaintenance payers should also lose their respect for the DA? because THEY called for the arrest of the non-payers. Soon the DA will have only married men as supporters it seems ...

  • Lambert - 2011-12-16 16:17

    Is this the same DA that supports a selfconfessed drug pusher?

      pws69 - 2011-12-16 16:24

      Who are you talking about? Genuine question, first I have heard of it.

  • Nico - 2011-12-16 17:11

    agggg whatever..... now everybody goes haywire about this one. I also say let them do their time wich are due to them, but let all these corrupt police,traffic cops and corrupt state workers and politicians join them in jail as they are far worst than people who already do some time for the crime they commited.....

  • Johnnie - 2011-12-16 18:22

    What a bloody mess. Are those the type of people who are supposed to apply laws that they themselves make?.Waste of taxpayers money that is used to pay them.

      Omnivore - 2011-12-17 01:40

      @Itumeleng - You should write down a list of potential clever responses to posts that you disagree with and wish to comment on. That way you will be able to choose the best one.

  • Herbert - 2011-12-16 21:21

    Wet Polokwane: Why bother with parole, are they not terminally ill?

      etienne.human - 2011-12-19 16:25

      hehehe ... I'm sure some sort of ailment can be arranged

  • daniel.w.gie - 2011-12-16 21:33


      Peter - 2011-12-17 13:12

      with a golden handshake of course, poor bastard,,,,,they are all braindead

  • TheWatcher - 2011-12-17 08:42

    Another example of why the entire criminal judicial needs to be overhauled. Loopholes and badly worded/ambiguous sections need to be changed to prevent this sort of idiocy being repeated.

  • Jennifer - 2011-12-17 11:33

    These people murdered someone for fun. They should pay the price for that as should any criminal. horrible buggers.

  • Erich - 2011-12-17 12:16

    I have my doubts about the DA's wisdom to enter the arena in this case. Even supporters of the DA are devided in their views and less harm would have come if this thorny subject was avoided.

      etienne.human - 2011-12-19 16:41

      I don't know Erich. The law is the law and it must be upheld whatever the colour, creed or gender of a person. The DA merely questioned why current legislation was pushed aside to reach a ruling like that. If people (being very emotional in this case) want fairness for themselves, surely they must support fairness in ALL cases - this matter as well?

  • Julian - 2011-12-17 12:50

    Does know body including the Minister, and the High Priestess of correctness GodZilla understand the law anymore. It is not Parole it is a conversion of Sentence where the court re sentences the individual and in this case it jail time is converted to correctional suppervision where the individual is under House Arrest and has to do Community service .

      Peter - 2011-12-17 13:11

      Julian are you a black lover or what, these 4 idiots should have hung, what if that person they kicked to death was your father or a relative, bring back the death sentence for murder rape and child molestation, no questions hang em all, then they cannot do it again,,,,,,

      etienne.human - 2011-12-19 16:46

      For a schedule 2 crime? Since when? AND after only 25% of the origional sentence was completed? And then the current legislation PRESCRIBING who may be considerd for correctional supervision and community service just being pushed aside? Taking into account the crime, the age of the offender etc etc. This is a joke - I hope DCS appeals this and send them back to jail

  • Itumeleng - 2011-12-17 18:04

    we need immediate reply why are they out, which network was used, an innocent black life was lost, by the way it does not weigh much, THOSE TWO MUST GO BACK JAIL AND SERVE THE SENTENCE

      LeAnn - 2011-12-19 09:20

      @Itumeleng... They are still in Jail, can you not read?

      etienne.human - 2011-12-19 16:51

      Network was used? Hey, this is not the Lotto bra, the network used was the legal system. The same one you benefit from as well as the politicians, farm murderers, rapists, child molestors etc. You understand the network now? But i agree they should be back in jail.

      Herbert - 2011-12-19 19:57

      I wander if this discussion is about the law or about race. I think they should serve at least two thirds of the 12 years before parole and or house arrest is considered.

      Wendy Le Goff - 2011-12-20 09:47

      You are so darn right!

  • SirFGrumpy - 2011-12-19 15:33

    What a mess, how typical.

  • Vaaldonkie - 2011-12-19 19:13

    Someone should give the DA a few legal textbooks so that they can learn the difference between "House Arrest" and "Parole".

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