U-turn on Waterkloof two 'unfair'

14 June 2013 - 04:29

It is unfair to send two members of the "Waterkloof Four" back to prison after they have been out on parole for a year-and-a-half, said the pair's lawyer.

Lawyer Jenny Brewis said the two men, Reinach Tiedt and Gert van Schalkwyk, have moved on with their lives.

"They have proved they are rehabilitated. What purpose would it serve?" Brewis asked yesterday.

The two were ordered back to prison by the Pretoria High Court on Wednesday.

In 2001, they took part in the fatal assault of a homeless black man.

In 2011, the Correctional Services Parole Board released Tiedt and Van Schalkwyk after they had served three years of their 12-year sentence.

The other two members of the gang - Christoff Becker and Frikkie du Preez - were not released and are still serving their sentences at the Pretoria Central Prison.

On Wednesday, however, a full bench of judges ruled that Tiedt and Van Schalkwyk must return to prison. Judge Hans Fabricius gave them until July 10 to report to jail, saying it would be unfair and inhumane to resume their sentences immediately.

"Reinach has studied and got his degree at Unisa with distinction, and he is now a financial manager at an agricultural firm. Gert is the captain of his rugby club and has started various businesses that include a restaurant and retail businesses," said Brewis.

She said the two men " just want to get on with their lives".

Tiedt's father, Chris, yesterday refused to comment.

Van Schalkwyk's stepfather, Jimmy Stonehouse, is currently in Russia as the coach of the Mpumalanga Pumas rugby team .

The two men's release led to the dismissal of a number of correctional services officials, including the chairman of the parole board and the chairman of the case management committee.

"They were found guilty of gross negligence and did not comply with processes and procedures," said chief deputy commissioner of Correctional Services, James Smalberger.

Smalberger said that for the two men to qualify for parole they should have had less than five years still to serve.

Brewis said: "We are studying the judgment and will decide [whether to appeal] as soon as our schedules permit."

Should an appeal be launched, the men might not be required to report to prison before all court processes are exhausted.

"If we do lodge an appeal, we would use any time available to us to our full advantage," said Brewis.