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Waterkloof killer’s parole bid opposed

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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

Johannesburg - The correctional services department will oppose an urgent court application by one of the Waterkloof Four, Christoff Becker, to have his parole re-instated, the department said on Wednesday.

“The department has submitted papers in reply to court,” spokesman Manelisi Wolela said.

At the beginning of April, Becker was transferred to the Kokstad Maximum Security Prison in KwaZulu-Natal due to misconduct.

Wolela said at the time Becker was transferred from the Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre (Pretoria Central) to Kokstad.

Correctional services established a disciplinary committee after a cellphone was discovered in Becker's cell during a search.

On February 16, Becker and Frikkie du Preez were re-arrested after footage of them allegedly drinking alcohol and using a cellphone at the Kgosi Mampuru Prison emerged.

The video, reportedly taken on a cellphone, was posted on YouTube. It showed Du Preez and Becker drinking, and using a cellphone in jail.

Earlier in February, Becker, Du Preez, Gert van Schalkwyk, and Reinach Tiedt were released after being jailed for beating a homeless man to death in Pretoria in 2001.

Beeld newspaper reported on Wednesday that Becker's application would be heard on Friday at the High Court in Pretoria.

Becker, 27, said in court papers that his re-arrest in February was for nonsensical reasons, five days after being released on parole.

He said he was at home on February 16 when Rapport newspaper carried an article about him and Frikkie Du Preez, who allegedly held a party in prison where alcohol was used.

Becker, Du Preez, and two other prisoners were in his cell at the time, the newspaper reported.

In court papers, Becker denied that alcohol was used at the party, which was video-recorded. He also said the pictures of Johnnie Walker and J&B in the video were in fact pictures of a computer's screen saver.

He wanted the parole board to set aside the decision to revoke his parole, be moved back to Pretoria from Kokstad prison, and be released on parole on the same conditions he was released in February.

Becker also sought to have his re-arrest and detention declared unlawful, and for the department to pay for his legal bill.

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