It is unlikely that two of the so-called Waterkloof Four who are still in jail will be recommended for conversion of sentence by the Correctional Supervision and Parole Board.
The Department of Correctional Services’ policy states that parole board members, known as the case management committee (CMC), must see detainees every six months to monitor their rehabilitation progress and to make recommendations.
Frikkie du Preez’s lawyer, Jenny Brewis, said the committee has not been to see Du Preez or his co-accused Christoff Becker for the past 18 months.
The two are serving 12-year jail sentences in Pretoria Central Prison for the murder of a homeless man in 2001. The man was never identified. They were sentenced in 2005 with their co-accused Reinach Tiedt and Gert van Schalkwyk who had their sentences converted to correctional supervision in December last year. The four started serving their jail terms in 2008 after a failed appeal.
“I see him (Du Preez) regularly. The last time anyone from the parole board had seen Frikkie was in January last year,” she said.
Brewis said it would be unlikely for the parole board members to make any recommendations as they have no idea what progress (or not) her client was making. “How do they know he is being rehabilitated if they don’t bother to evaluate his progress. I have written several letters to the board, but to date have had no response,” she said.
The release of Tiedt and van Schalkwyk last year caused outrage in the Department of Correctional Services. The department refused to release the two from the Zonderwater Prison near Cullinan even after a high court ruling.
When Tiedt and Van Schalkwyk were eventually released – four days after the initial order – the department which was then in contempt of court, asked that the court order be set aside.
In February, the department lost its appeal in the Pretoria Regional Court. In March, three members of the parole board and two prison officials were suspended over the release of the two.
Deputy commissioner and chief directorate of communications at Correctional Services, Sibongile Khumalo, said the last visit to Becker and Du Preez from the case committee was on March 7 this year.
The purpose of the visit was to give the two feedback about their application for the conversion of their sentences, she said.
“The sentences of the two remaining Waterkloof boys will be converted when they qualify for conversion. At the moment they do not qualify,” she said.
Khumalo failed to give reasons as to why the two did not qualify. She said the investigation into the conduct of the parole board members has been concluded and an internal disciplinary hearing will follow soon. Although Tiedt and Van Schalkwyk are no longer in jail, they are not free. Both will have conditions of house arrest and community service.
They may only leave their homes to go to work and each has perform 16 hours of community service. On weekends, Tiedt has cleaning duties at the Transvaal Museum in Pretoria and Van Schalkwyk at the Bronkhorstspruit police station.