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'Waterkloof Four' killers head back to jail

Two of the Waterkloof Four killers believe they deserve to stay out of prison.

Gert van Schalkwyk (L) and Reinach Tiedt (R) two of the Waterkloof Four . Pictures: SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - The Correctional Services Department says it feels vindicated now that a court has ordered two of the so-called Waterkloof Four to return to prison.

The department has also revealed that at least two senior employees were fired after Reinach Tiedt and Gert van Schalkwyk were released to complete their sentences under correctional supervision around 18 months ago. But now a court has found they were released too early, having been sent to spend twelve years for murdering a homeless man in 2001.

The four killers - Tiedt, van Schalkwyk, Christoff Becker and Frikkie du Preez - began serving their twelve year sentence in 2008, after being convicted of beating a homeless man to death in Pretoria in 2001. Tiedt and van Schalkwyk were controversially released at the beginning of 2012. Becker and du Preez remained behind bars.

The department's James Smalberger says justice has been done, welcoming the ruling's fairness.

"It's important the offenders are treated the same."

Tiedt and van Schalkwyk's lawyer, Jenny Brewis, says her clients have been completely rehabilitated and should be allowed to remain under correctional supervision.

"As you've seen from their track records over the last 18 months that they've really tried their level best to become law abiding citizens," says Brewis.

"For twelve years they've been hounded and they've carried the burden of this case with them and I think it's about time that should come to an end.

"Brewis says her clients are considering appealing the latest ruling.

All four killers will be eligible for parole next year.

Van Schalkwyk and Tiedt will have to report to prison next month if they don't appeal or if their appeal is turned down.

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