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Pretoria - He could have been out on parole, but Waterkloof Four ringleader Christoff Becker has been sent to a maximum security prison 800km from home.
His attorney, Oelof de Meyer, said he had been away on holiday when Becker - who is serving time for the murder of a homeless man when he and three accomplices were in their teens - was moved from Pretoria’s Kgosi Mampuru facility to the Kokstad Super Maximum Correctional Centre.
“I heard about it this morning (Sunday) on the radio,” De Meyer said. He had not yet consulted Becker or his family.
Correctional Services has confirmed Becker’s transfer, on the grounds of ill discipline.
Becker was out on parole in February when cellphone video footage came to light of a party he and fellow prisoner Frikkie du Preez had in his prison cell.
The pair were returned to the prison, only for Becker to be caught a second time with a cellphone.
Correctional Services spokesman Manelisi Wolela confirmed that Becker had been transferred because of his ”misbehaviour”.
“This is part of internal measures to ensure discipline,” he added.
De Meyer said although the move had come as a surprise to him, it seemed to be a disciplinary measure and the Correctional Services Department would be well within its rights to move a prisoner.
It is unclear how long Becker is to remain at the maximum facility.
The facility is officially known as eBongweni Correctional Centre and is the country’s most secure. It has closed-circuit televison and a triple-level control system, with electrified fencing, and detection and alarm systems.
The department said the prison was a state-of-the-art maximum correctional facility designed for male offenders in the maximum security classification - those from across the country identified as high security risks.
Among those serving time there are the man described as South Africa’s worst serial rapist, Mongenzi Samuel Jingxela, and serial killer and escaper Annanias “Houdini” Mathe.
Mathe was the first man to escape from the C Max facility at the Pretoria prison.
His attempt to escape from eBongweni Correctional Centre was foiled.