Waterkloof 4: du Preez fights for parole

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IOL PN Frikkie1 PRETORIA NEWS Frikkie du Preez's court bid for parole was turned down. Photo: Phill Magakoe

Pretoria - Frikkie du Preez, one of the Waterkloof Four, has not given up the fight to have his parole reinstated and his legal team will return to the North Gauteng High Court on Friday for an order that he be released.

This time Du Preez will ask Judge Neil Tuchten to release him from the Kgosi Mampuru ll Prison in Pretoria and re-establish his bail conditions.

Du Preez is asking the court to declare that the parole board did not have the jurisdiction to revoke his parole and to order a re-hearing in January next year.

Du Preez and Christoff Becker made headlines in February this year when their parole was revoked five days after their release.

This was after video footage came to light, suggesting that he and Becker were having a party in their cell before their release. The allegations included that they had an illegal cellphone with them, used alcohol and bribed correctional officers.

The parole board at the time concluded that the pair had violated their parole conditions and revoked their parole for a year.

Becker was removed from the prison in Pretoria to the maximum security prison in Kokstad after a cellphone was found in his possession.

Du Preez was given a ray of hope when Judge Eberhard Bertelsmann last month ordered a newly constituted parole board to reconsider his parole. This was after he found the decision made by the previous board was flawed.

The new board convened on August 13, but the verdict remained the same: Du Preez had to remain behind bars. The main reason given was that he had violated his parole conditions and had thus not yet been rehabilitated.

Du Preez said the accusation levelled against him was that he leaked the video footage, taken while he was in prison.

His legal team - comprising top city advocates Christiaan Sevenster and Jaco Roux - were told the department relied on “a thick lever arch file consisting of about 300 pages” which contained the investigation into the alleged offences. They weren’t handed a copy of this file.

During the recent parole hearing, the advocates asked what the charges against Du Preez were, as he wasn’t formally charged. They were told that the department suspected Du Preez may have violated his parole conditions as he appeared in the video.

It was pointed out to the department that while Du Preez happened to be in the footage, this alleged transgression happened while he was still in jail and not on parole. His counsel said it was thus impossible to find that he had violated his parole conditions.

Sevenster said as no parole conditions were broken, the parole board had no jurisdiction to decide over the matter. He said as the alleged offence happened while in jail, the head of the facility should have dealt with it.

He added that it was common cause that Du Preez was never charged with anything, let alone found guilty.

Pretoria News



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