Waterkloof 2 back in jail over ‘cell party’

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Frame grab of a video posted on YouTube show Christoff Becker having a party in his cell on the eve of his release on parole. Becker is said to have taken the pictures using his cellphone. Pictures: Rapport

Pretoria - The Waterkloof Two rearrested on Sunday for allegedly drinking alcohol and having a party inside a prison cell on the eve of their parole could now serve the rest of their sentence plus additional jail time.

A Pretoria advocate, who asked not to be named for professional reasons, said on Sunday that Frikkie du Preez and Christoff Becker could find themselves serving longer sentences than they received for the murder in 2001.

“And these sentences would not necessarily run concurrently, so it could be long before they are released again.”

The two were thrown back into prison after a five-day stay at home, after a YouTube video appeared online, showing them drinking and using a cellphone in a Kgosi Mampuru prison cell in Pretoria just before their release last week.

Correctional Services spokesman Manelisi Wolela said the two were rearrested after reports of the video surfaced. The regional commissioner of Gauteng had instituted investigations.

“The Correctional Services Act of 1998 makes provision for re-arresting a parolee for up to 72 hours while an investigation is under way.”

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Having a phone and alcohol in a cell was illegal for inmates: “The department takes very seriously the allegations about the smuggling of alcohol, having a party and covering the party with illegally possessed cameras and/or cellphones,” Wolela said.

In the four-minute video, pop music can be heard playing loudly, and the cell appears equipped with a table with a computer on it. Becker, reports say, took photos of himself with a cellphone while posing topless in front of a mirror.

He is heard exclaiming on having a good weekend, after allegedly managing to get booze inside their cell.

He also apparently constantly pulls at his shorts to expose more of his red-banded briefs, stands up to flex his muscles, dances and plays with his belly button, which is shown in an extended close-up.

Du Preez, seated on a toilet drinking something out of a mug at one point, doubles over with laughter and lifts his eyebrow and pouts.

According to reports, a picture of a bottle of J&B whisky and that of Johnnie Walker Red Label appear in the video, apparently smuggled in with the help of prison guards.

When they were released on parole last week, Becker and Du Preez wore designer jeans, tight shirts, sunglasses and combat boots.

After punching the air with a fist, Becker rode off on the back of a motorcycle.

The two were in their mid-teens when, with friends Reinach Tiedt and Gert van Schalkwyk, they beat, kicked and stabbed a homeless man to death in Moreleta Park. They were paroled after serving less than half of their 12-year sentences, having been given special remission for good behaviour.

On Sunday, the advocate said: “They misbehaved and transgressed prison regulations, and that is a serious offence.”

If found guilty, their reputation would have been so tarnished that they would never be able to reapply for parole.

“It is the board which would have to consider them for parole, but given their recent alleged behaviour, the chances are slim.”

In December 2011, Tiedt and Van Schalkwyk were released from jail and placed under house arrest, sparking widespread disapproval, which saw them go back to prison in September 2012.

Wolela said the two parolees, officials and managers on duty would be questioned as part of the investigation, and the video would be watched.

“Speaking to those responsible for security on the day will also form part of the probe.”

Pretoria News


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