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Court rejects Waterkloof Four's application

Staff Reporter

The Pretoria High Court on Wednesday turned down the so-called Waterkloof Four's application for leave to appeal their convictions. The court earlier refused to overturn the conviction and sentence of the four, who were found guilty of murder and assault and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

The Pretoria High Court on Wednesday turned down the so-called Waterkloof Four’s application for leave to appeal their convictions.

The court earlier refused to overturn the conviction and sentence of the four, who were found guilty of murder and assault and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

In his judgement, Judge Willie Seriti said: “There is no prospect that another court could come to an alternative decision; on both accounts the application should be dismissed.”

The four accused, Christoff Becker, Frikkie Du Preez, Gert van Schalkwyk and Reinach Tiedt, were not in court.

They had been trying to overturn their convictions for the 2001 murder of an unidentified man, and the assault of another.

Their defence earlier argued that the state had not proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.

In their application for leave to appeal, they argued that the body of the man who was found in a park two days after the assault was not that of the man they assaulted.

They maintain that the body that was found had no facial injuries, despite evidence that the man who they assaulted was severely kicked in the face. They also said there was no blood found on the scene, which was inconsistent with a man dying of blood loss, and that there were no injuries indicating a beating and kicking

Advocate for the accused, Jaap Cilliers, has brought an application to petition the judgement.

The petition is to be filed to the judge president of the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Said Judge Seriti: “The court is inclined to extend bail granted [provided] that the petition is filed within 10 days.”

The state, however, disagreed with this.

“I oppose any further bail and petition ... it is time that they started serving their sentence,” said state prosecutor Johan Kruger.—Sapa

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