Waterkloof Four man's rights infringedComment on this story
Pretoria - A newly-constituted parole board must reconsider the application of Frikkie du Preez, one of the so-called Waterkloof Four, the High Court in Pretoria ruled on Thursday.
Judge Eberhard Bertelsmann ruled a new parole board should examine Du Preez’s parole bid, as a decision in February to revoke his bid was flawed.
“Unbeknown to the applicant (Du Preez), the composition of the board was changed. One community member was replaced by another who had not been part of the board’s public hearing.
“The new board then deliberated without a further hearing and resolved that the applicant’s parole ought to be revoked. The applicant sought a review of that decision on the grounds that it offended his rights to a fair administrative proceeding,” he said.
Bertelsmann said parole board procedures envisage a public hearing and should have allowed Du Preez to address it.
“The manner in which the board came to its conclusion does not comply with these fundamental principles. The new member did not hear any evidence, did not engage with the applicant’s representative,” Bertelsmann said.
“The applicant was denied the right to deal with any concerns that this new member might have. His right to have his fate decided by a board that had engaged with him was therefore infringed.”
He said the parole board's decision was therefore fundamentally flawed and must be set aside.
Bertelsmann ordered that a new correctional services and parole board had to be constituted within 21 days.
“The board must re-hear the applicant’s application. Pending the finalisation of the new proceedings, the applicant will remain incarcerated,” he said.
Du Preez and Christoff Becker's parole was revoked when a video emerged of the pair drinking what appeared to be alcohol and using a cellphone at the Kgosi Mampuru prison.
The Waterkloof Four - Du Preez, Becker, Gert van Schalkwyk and Reinach Tiedt - were released on bail on February 11 after being jailed for beating a homeless man to death in Pretoria in 2001.
Becker and Du Preez were sent back to prison on February 28. Becker recently made a similar application but the court argued that it was not an urgent matter.