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First night at home for Waterkloof Four

The four men were released on parole yesterday under strict conditions.

Reinarch Tiedt, one of the so-called Waterkloof Four, walks after being released at the Correctional Services parole office in the Pretoria CBD on 11 February. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN.

PRETORIA - The so-called Waterkloof Four have spent their first night home after being released on parole under strict conditions set by the Department of Correctional Services.

Reinach Tiedt, Gert van Schalkwyk, Christoff Becker and Frikkie du Preez were each sentenced to 12 years in prison after being found guilty of beating, kicking and stabbing a homeless man to death at Moreleta Park in December 2001.

The four were dubbed the Waterkloof Four as they were all pupils at Hoërskool Waterkloof in Pretoria at the time of the incident.

Two years ago, Van Schalkwyk and Tiedt were freed for 18 months but were imprisoned again after the Department of Correctional Services challenged the court's decision to free them.

Correctional Services says the men are among 24,000 offenders released on parole every year.

The department's Manelisi Wolela says the men qualified for parole because they completed half of their 12 year sentences.

Wolela says they received an orientation session yesterday to ensure they understood the conditions of their release which includes the requirement to regularly visit correctional community centres.

Frikkie du Preez, one of the so-called Waterkloof Four, walks after being released at the Correctional Services parole office in the Pretoria CBD on 11 February.

Wearing large black sunglasses and designer clothes, Becker's appearance belied the fact he had just finished serving his sentence.

Christoff Becker leaving the the Department of Correctional Services offices in the Pretoria CBD. All pictures by Barry Bateman/EWN.