From the news desk

Becker to be released: Department

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One of the so-called “Waterkloof four”, convicted killer Christoff Becker, will be released on parole as previously ordered by the High Court in Pretoria, correctional services said on Monday.

“We can confirm that offender Becker will be released as per order of the court,” spokesman Logan Maistry said.

“The department of correctional services is currently following due process to effect his release and… is still awaiting the finalisation of its application for leave to appeal.”

He would be released as soon as possible.

Becker’s lawyers brought an urgent parole application in the high court earlier this month, which the court granted.

“The department however launched an application for leave to appeal the court ruling on Friday [December 5],” Maistry said at the time.

On December 6, the department confirmed it had managed to temporarily halt Becker’s release.

It was unclear when the matter would return to court.

The “Waterkloof four” — Becker, Frikkie du Preez, Gert van Schalkwyk and Reinach Tiedt — beat, stabbed and kicked a homeless man to death in Moreleta Park, Pretoria, on the night of December 1, 2001. The victim was never identified.

They were found guilty of murder in June 2005. In May 2008, they lost their bid to appeal in the High Court in Pretoria.

They were released on bail on February 11 this year, after serving five-and-a-half years of their 12-year jail terms.

Becker and Du Preez’s parole was revoked when a video emerged of the pair drinking what appeared to be alcohol and using a cellphone in the Kgosi Mampuru prison where they were serving their sentence.

The pair was sent back to prison on February 28. SAPA

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