Pretoria - Christoff Becker will have to remain in jail for at least the next couple of months.
North Gauteng High Court Judge Sulet Potterill on Friday morning removed his urgent application to be freed on parole from the court roll.
She found that the matter was not urgent. The judge also slapped Becker with a hefty legal bill, as she ordered that he had to pay the costs incurred by Correctional Services in defending the application. This includes the costs of two advocates, one of them being well-known senior council Marumo Moerane.
The judge questioned whether the matter was urgent, even before Becker’s advocate Gerhard Muller, started with his arguments regarding the merits of the case.
Muller argued his client’s liberty was at stake, which thus made the matter urgent. He said Becker’s incarceration was unlawful as he was rearrested on February 16 this year in terms of an invalid warrant of arrest.
The judge asked whether Muller argued that every person who is detained and feels that this is unlawful can now rush to court on an urgent basis.
Moerane, on the other hand, argued that Becker since February claimed he was back behind bars due to the alleged unlawful conduct of the department, but he only now, months down the line, came to court.
He said in terms of the Correctional services Act Becker was still technically serving a sentence while he was out on parole, although he was not in custody.
“It is not as if the department took a person off the street and deprived him of his liberty,” he said.
Becker will now have to wait his turn on the normal court roll, which could take months before his case is heard.
He is meanwhile held at Kokstad maximum security prison after he was at the end of April taken there from the Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Facility in Pretoria. It is claimed that he was again found to be in possession of a cellphone after his re-arrest.
Becker was released on parole in February this year but his freedom was short-lived as he was rearrested five days later.
This was after footage was released of a party Becker and fellow inmates held in his cell prior to his release. It is claimed that he had alcohol in his cell, as well as an illegal cellphone.