Waterkloof 2 stay where they are - for nowComment on this story
Pretoria - The lawyer for two of the so-called Waterkloof Four, Christoff Becker and Frikkie du Preez, said he would not bring an urgent application to have his clients released from prison after the Department of Correctional Services announced on Wednesday it would review the pair’s parole.
Oelof de Meyer, who acts for Becker and Du Preez, said he would wait for the Correctional Supervision and Parole Board (CSPB) to make a decision before initiating legal action, but would represent his clients during the review.
It is expected the pair will appear before the board on Friday, but they could face up to 14 days behind bars before a decision is reached. “Nothing is urgent at this point. They (the department) must say what needs to happen and we will be there,” De Meyer said.
Becker’s and Du Preez’s alleged partying and drinking in Pretoria Central prison led to their re-arrest on Sunday.
Correctional Services was granted 72 hours to investigate the jailhouse celebrations and announced its plans to review the pair’s parole on Wednesday afternoon.
Becker and Du Preez will remain in custody pending the board’s decision.
“It is the full right of the department to review their parole decision. If my clients have to appear before the board, I will represent them,” De Meyer told the Pretoria News.
The Waterkloof Four, Becker, Du Preez, Gert van Schalkwyk and Reinach Tiedt, were released on parole last week after serving five and a half years of their 12-year sentence. They were convicted of the murder of a homeless man in 2001.
Ringleader Becker and his fellow inmate Du Preez were arrested less than a week after their release after cellphone footage of them allegedly drinking and partying in prison was leaked to the media.
It is believed Becker’s phone was used to record the celebrations on the eve of their release on parole.
Correctional Services spokesman Manelisi Wolela said: “Following a decision of the supervisory committee, Du Preez and Becker will appear before the CSPB, of the Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre, for a review of their parole.”
De Meyer said he was not told of the department’s decision to keep his clients in custody. “I know no more than what I read in the media,” he said.
Tiedt’s and Van Schalkwyk’s lawyer, Jenny Brewis, issued a statement on Monday saying the pair were not aware of Becker’s and Du Preez’s prison shenanigans.
Since the leak of the footage, there have been allegations that Correctional Services staff were involved in smuggling alcohol into the cell. Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele warned staff against illegal activities. “Any official found guilty of any such offence will face the full might of the law,” he said.