18 December 2011 1 Comment
No doubt: these four rich Afrikaner kids, aged 15, were vile little racists who drove around in Pretoria looking for black vagrants to beat up – but did they deliberately murder one of their victims? Or were they convicted with ‘the wrong body?’ …
Two of the four Afrikaner males imprisoned for murdering an African vagrant at Moreletta Park and assaulting another at the Qualilife Gym in Constantia Park in Pretoria when they were fifteen years old – (Reinbach Tiedt and Gert Van Schalkwyk, two of the 4 youths dubbed the ‘Waterkloof Four’ ) – had the remainder of their twelve-year sentences converted to correctional supervision by a magistrate’s court last week. report
However Zonderwater prison adamantly refused to release the two. As soon as they were in the car which would have taken them home, the prison authorities whisked them right back to the cells again – and adamantly refused to obey the court order. The men had to obtain a Gauteng High Court order demanding that the prison obey it.
‘Waterkloof Four tainted the reputation of Afrikaners everywhere’, claimed the Mail & Guardian at the time…
Waterkloof Four: Undoubtedly these four rich Afrikaner kids were guilty of racism: but of murder? Mail & Guardian : ‘It touches the most sensitive nerve in the Afrikaner psyche, racism in its most brutal form… even if it transpires that they are innocent of murder the boys (15) should have shown more appreciation of the seriousness of the charges…’ Reinbach Tiedt, Gert van Schalkwyk, Christoff Becker and Frikkie du Preez – all fifteen years old at the time they were driving around Pretoria looking for black vagrants to beat up — were sentenced to twelve year’s imprisonment for ‘assaulting one homeless man and killing another’ at two different sites on December 1, 2008.
This week the North Gauteng High Court ordered the immediate release of Tiedt and Van Schalkwyk – and ordered those responsible for keeping them behind bars to show reasons why they shouldn’t be jailed for ignoring a court order. The court ordered the Minister of Correctional Services to release Tiedt and Van Schalkwyk after they were granted parole by the Pretoria Regional Court on Thursday.But the interim order goes even further, saying that Tozamile Tana, the area commisioner of Correctional Services, and Tivani Makasane, head of Medium B Section of the Zonderwater Prison, will have to explain to the court in January why they did not release the two men, or they may themselves face thirty days in jail. Tiedt and Van Schalkwyk on Thursday had the remainder of their 12-year prison sentences converted to correctional supervision by a magistrate’s court, but the department of correctional services later refused to release them. According to media reports, the department had sent a copy of the court judgment to its lawyers for them to study because there were problems with it.
The men’s lawyer, Jenny Brewis, told Beeld that she had been told by prison authorities that an instruction not to release the men had come “from above”.
Tiedt and Van Schalkwyk, together with Christoff Becker and Frikkie du Preez, were sentenced to twelve year’s imprisonment for assaulting one homeless man and killing another in 2008.
Besides the fact that the ANC-regime clearly places itself above the law, there are some very puzzling aspects of this conviction itself – and which have led one investigator as well as the defence-team to conclude that these four men were wrongfully imprisoned.
Waterkloof-four wrongfully imprisoned…
by Charles Scheepers firstname.lastname@example.org
Scheepers has followed the case from the outset. He has collected all the court testimony and forensic evidence. The only State-witnesses to the events were two of the convicted men’s friends, the Von Lansberg brothers who drove around with their friends, also beating up African vagrants: their testimony was they had been as drunk as the four convicted Afrikaners that night. The two groups of Afrikaner youths were driving around in two cars and kept in touch with each other via their cellphones. And while there undoubtedly had been a vicious assault on a black African vagrant: (with the Von Lansberg brothers testifying as the State witnesses that this victim had been both stabbed and kicked repeatedly) – Scheepers warned that the forensic evidence showed some very strange anomalies: the body which was examined and identified as their killed victim before the court, showed none of the wounds which should have been there after such a brutal event and also was a well-dressed, well-fed man; and there also was a problem with the time lapse: the Waterkloof Four could not have been at both crime scenes within the 14-minute period recorded on all their cellphone records.
Scheepers wrote: “The (supposed) vicious attack left absolutely no marks of any kind on the victim – (according to the forensic evidence). There were no broken teeth, bruising, no blood from the nose or ears or any place other than the “stab wound”(on the back of the leg). No broken nose or any other bone for that matter. There were no scratches on any part of the body consistent with a scuffle on the ground. The crime scene photos show that there was no soil or grass on the body that might be expected in a scuffle. There were no tear or stretch marks on the clothes of the deceased. Magistrate Len Kotze used the vicious nature of the attacks to convict the accused Afrikaner males of murder – but he dismissed the fact that there was no physical evidence that could corroborate the attack on the body. It was clear that the State had the wrong body, but the Magistrate choose to ignore that”. There also were other anomalies: for instance the accused could physically not have been at the scene of the crime:
”The ‘homeless individual’ was dressed in good-quality clothing with expensive athletic shoes, and in good physical condition: Scheepers: ” — ‘As for the “homeless” individual, you should know that this supposedly derelict individual was dressed in good quality clothing with expensive athletic shoes. He had a wallet on him with money in it. He was in generally good condition prior to his death. The police also found stolen objects around him that were positively linked to a house robbery a significant distance away from the park where he was found. One of the medical experts in the case did testify that the wound on the victim looked more like a wound made by falling on a palisade fence and the property where the items next to him were stolen did have just such a fence. This is a clear example of how the media manipulated people’s emotions to steer attention away from the travesty taking place under our noses,” according to Scheepers.
Charles Scheepers writes: “For some time now I have been trying to get to the bottom of a politically charged and highly publicised case that was “concluded” towards the end of 2008. The case is known as the Waterkloof Four murder. Four Afrikaner youths from wealthy families were found guilty of murdering a vagrant after a drunken night out. However, the blatant abuse of justice and the now apparent corruption must be exposed for all to see. I have followed this case from inception and I have probably read every piece of print as well as every shred of official court document relating to this case — and the odd thing is that they are almost irreconcilable.
There is no doubt that everybody has an opinion about this case and although we probably can expect some fanatical responses and the typical self-justifications, I believe that you would do yourself a great disservice if you do not at least read the summaryof the facts that I allude to. It would not be realistic to discuss all the blatant errors made by Magistrate Len Kotze, but the full analysis of his judgement can be found here. The original court documents are available to anybody would like to read them and I defy anybody to prove me wrong. Up to this moment not even the judges involved has managed this.
The truth is that this case was an awe-inspiring victory for the media. The media blinded an entire nation whilst the judges delivered one the most shocking judgements of their careers. How many facts did you really read about? We know exactly what they wore at any time and there were references to their perfume, hairdos and white shoes. We know they were “arrogant” even though they never said a thing. Yet we do not know what really transpired that fateful night. If you think about it: what we “know” is nothing more than implied images, skilfully created by sensation-hungry reporters knowledgeable of the fact that truth does not sell. One thing is undeniable: the media managed to unite a nation, across more denominations than I care to list, in the condemnation of four youngsters we knew nothing about.
In summary, they were convicted of two counts of assault and one of premeditated murder. They did admit to assaulting an unknown man in a park in Moreletta Park, but they vehemently denied the first assault as well as the murder. In my report I show that the first assault probably never happened on the night in question and to be truthful the State prosecutor admits that much at the end of his examination of this incident. If indeed it did take place it happened on another night and could not, in all likelihood, have included the same group of people. It might surprise you to realise that there were at least ten people involved that night, but this specific grouping of people is unique in time. Even the “W4 gang” was a unique grouping that night.
Once the first assault is knocked out then this entire case becomes suspicious to say the least. Without the first assault the “murder” would have to be downgraded to an opportunistic version of manslaughter and that would have meant that the State could not make an example of these individuals. I do realise that we love to hate people that seem to be better off than ourselves, but you have to keep the consequences of a corrupt judiciary in mind when looking at the facts. Thanks to Hlophe and Zuma we are already starting to see the effects loud and clear.
The individuals did assault the victim and it is entirely conceivable that a person could die from such an assault, but to prove that we have to scrutinise the physical evidence very carefully. The body used as the “murder victim” was in pristine condition barring a gaping wound on the back of his leg. The post mortem report of the victim indicated no other serious wounds other than the gaping hole in the back of his leg. Cause of death was blood loss over an extended time. No bruising, no broken bones, no blood from the nose or ears, no broken skin, no dirt or grass indicative of a struggle on his face or body, no broken teeth and the tiniest amount of blood on the scene.
Two specialists indicated that a person of similar build as the victim would have to lose 5-6 pints of blood to bleed to death. More than 3 litres of blood is a lot of blood to mysteriously disappear. The direction of blood flow on the victim’s body as shown in some of the crime scene photos also seem to indicate that the body may have been moved after death. This is significant because the State witnesses testified that the position that the police found the body in, is exactly the same as it was left the previous night after the assault. If we consider that someone did move the victim to the park after his death, it could explain the absence of blood at the apparent crime scene but then raises more questions for this case. All this is handled extensively in my report. This is merely one indication that the learned magistrate did not remove all possibilities in his findings and as such could not have proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The conundrum is that the sentence was based on the intentional and brutal murder of a homeless individual, but there is absolutely no indication of either of the chosen pillars of this sentence. As for the “homeless” individual, you should know that this supposedly derelict individual was dressed in good quality clothing with expensive athletic shoes. He had a wallet on him with money in it. He was in generally good condition prior to his death. The police also found stolen objects around him that were positively linked to a house robbery a significant distance away from the park where he was found. One of the medical experts in the case did testify that the wound on the victim looked more like a wound made by falling on a palisade fence and the property where the items next to him were stolen did have just such a fence. This is a clear example of how the media manipulated people’s emotions to steer attention away from the travesty taking place under our noses.
So what does this mean then? There are many unanswered questions about the events of that night, but if we are to assume a fair and independent judiciary then the four young men implicated could not have been convicted of any of the charges brought against them. However, the true mystery is how this case traversed four levels of court and why these learned judges refuse to answer my questions? The only judge to respond was Judge President Bernard Ngoepe who condescendingly claimed that it is irrelevant if judges are wrong (see fax). No legal professional wants to touch this case and so far academics are too scared to open Pandora’s Box. Do we really know what goes on in the halls of our respected, honourable and trusted judiciary?
Should you be interested, I can provide all documentation on a disc if you leave a comment to that nature. This would include all documentation entered into court, judgements, photos and correspondence with the JSC and various other organisations that chose to ignore this corruption.
Summary of the analysis done on the judgement in the Waterkloof 4 case as made by Magistrate Len Kotze
Please note that this is a summary of a detailed analysis and although the facts remain valid, it might be difficult to follow an argument in some instances. Should you require the full report you may request it via email from Charles Scheepers (email@example.com).
There are two incidents of concern:
1.) Alleged assault at the Qualilife Gym in Constantia Park
1.1) There is no evidence other than witness testimony for this event.
1.2) The accused individuals categorically deny this event.
1.3) This event is important because Magistrate Len Kotze used it to establish intent to murder in the second incident.
1.4) There are a number of cell phone records that frame the time during which this event took place. These calls show area information as well.
1.5) From the time that the group (accused and witnesses) left Hatfield until they were placed in Moreletta Park by the next verifiable call is
1.6) During the 14 minutes the vehicle containing the witnesses deviated from the route that the second car with the accused individuals took,
looked for an open café, spotted a man sitting next to the road, warmed up their muscles, assaulted the man once, informed the second car of
what transpired, waited for five minutes for the second car to come back to where they were, proceeded to assault the same individual more savagely and then returned to the Moreletta Park area before the next call placed them in Moreletta Park.
1.7) The testimony of the accused makes the journey from Hatfield to Moreletta Park possible with no assumptions. To validate the version of the witnesses requires many assumption and impossible speeds from both vehicles. This violates Ockham’s razor for logic evaluation that the courts use as well.
1.8) One of the state witnesses claimed that when they left Hatfield they agreed on a destination that would justify their route deviation (the
accused disagreed), but towards the end of his testimony about this incident he states that after the assault he spoke to one of the accused
to change the destination to the same address that he claimed they agreed on from the beginning. He contradicted himself.
1.9) After all the speculation State Advocate Kruger clearly stated that it is entirely possible that the individuals were referring to an incident on
another night and the he did not want to make a big deal of this incident. This means that the defence denied the incident and the State had serious doubts about the incident and instead of evaluating the evidence and giving the benefit of the doubt to the accused, Magistrate Kotze ignored the doubt and made this event fact. Magistrate Kotze is actively manipulating testimony and evidence instead of impartially evaluating it.
2.) Assault and alleged murder of a homeless man in a park in Moreletta Park
2.1) The accused individuals admitted to the assault and admitted that the assault was vicious. They deny murdering the victim and they deny thinking that the victim might die from his injuries.
2.2) As with the previous incident, the version of the accused fits the timeframes and physical evidence without assumptions whereas the version of the witnesses requires a number of assumptions and a serious stretch of the imagination to account for all the anomalies.Once again Magistrate Kotze’s choice of truth violates Ockham’s razor.
2.3) The chosen version of the truth (the story of the witnesses) is not supported by the physical evidence and even contradicts the physical evidence at times. Magistrate Kotze dismisses physical evidence infavour of the opinion of witnesses. This clearly shows his bias.
2.4) The person found in the same park two days after this incident, died of severe blood loss from a deep cut in the back of his left thigh. The medical experts could not conclude what the cause of the wound was. One expert said it could be a knife, but it is unsure and the other expert had serious doubts about it being a knife. The experts concluded that the blood loss was over a period of 24 to 48 hours given that no major arteries were cut. The person also had two small cuts on his head with one of the cuts already starting to scab over. There are absolutely no other injuries or deformities on the body as per the post mortem report and crime scene photos.
2.5) The witnesses testified that when they arrived at the park, one of the accused was standing in a crouching position in front of the victim making stabbing motions to the victim’s legs and another was standing upright behind the victim making stabbing motions towards the victim’s head and shoulders. The witnesses never actually saw any knives in the hands of the accused and never actually saw any of the stabbing motions making contact with the body of the victim. It is also noteworthy that the described positions are entirely wrong for the wound on the body and there are no defensive wounds of any kind on
2.6) The accused individuals testified that they had beaten a vagrant quite viciously and when he went to ground they mauled him in a loose-scrum fashion
and one of the accused stepped back and then ran in and kicked the man in the face. This person later noted that his steel-tip shoe was dented inwards. Another one of the accused hit the man over the head with a hammer. There was no knifing.
2.7) The (supposed) vicious attack left absolutely no marks of any kind on the victim. There was no broken teeth, no bruising, no blood from the nose or ears or any place other than the “stab wound”(on the back of the leg). No broken nose or any other bone for that matter. There were no scratches on any part of the body consistent with a scuffle on the ground. The crime scene photos show that there was no soil or grass on the body that might be expected in a
scuffle. There are no tear or stretch marks on the clothes of the deceased. Magistrate Kotze uses the vicious nature of the attacks to condemn the accused, but he dismisses the fact that there is no physical evidence that can corroborate the attack. It is clear that the State had the wrong body, but the Magistrate chooses to ignore that.
2.8) It is possible to think that the two cuts on the head of the body was consistent with the hammer attack, but it should be noted that one of those scars was already in the process of scabbing over. The witnesses testified that the man was standing when the first hammer blow hit. It dropped the man to his knees. The second hammer blow floored the man completely. This would sound plausible for a hammer attack, but it is noteworthy that there were absolutely no skull fractures or signs of brain trauma at all and the superficial cuts on the scalp have age inconsistencies. Either the attack did not occur, or it was so soft that it
left no marks whatsoever or the State had the wrong body.
2.9) The witnesses testified that they went back to the site later the night and when they arrived the man begged them for help at which time one of the accused kicked him in the face again. The accused denied going back to the scene. Magistrate Kotze uses this incident as a demonstration of the brutality of the accused and as motivation for a harsh punishment. The odd thing is that if they intended to kill the man as the Magistrate concludes, then there are better ways of doing it than stabbing a person in the back of his thigh. Secondly, if they arrived back at the scene and found the man still alive it would be imperative to make sure he was completely dead. A kick would not have done it. If this was true we know that the man was beaten to a point where he was incapacitated, but there is absolutely no proof of that in the autopsy report.
2.10) The witnesses testified that someone washed blood from the hammer when they were back at the house. If this was significant enough to
remember, why didn’t the witnesses testify about people washing blood from their hands or from the interior of the car or even whether there was a need to change clothes? If the victim was stabbed and then mauled there must be traces of blood on the assailants.
2.11) One of the witnesses testified that he went back to the scene the next day and found the body where they left it he was convinced that the man was dead. He also noted a strong scent of blood in the air. These statements cause further conflicts with the physical evidence, because there was very little blood found on or in the ground when the police found the body. They also did not find any blood in the area. It rained 3mm during the night of the attack, but the victim was found on his back and a small amount of rain could not wash away all the blood from underneath the body. The medical experts estimated that the
victim would have to lose between 6 and 8 pints of blood to die. That is a lot of blood to disappear into thin air.
2.12) The dried blood on the back of the victim’s leg flowed toward the inside of the victim’s thigh and upwards toward his groin. The victim was found on his back with his injured leg flat on the ground and the witnesses testified that he was found in the same spot and position as he was left. The laws of gravity would make it impossible for the blood to flow upwards towards the inside of the victim’s thigh and therefore strongly suggests that the body was moved some time and the complete absence of blood suggests the possibility that the person died somewhere else.
2.13) On more than one occasion the State witnesses contradict themselves and their story does not fit in with the physical evidence at all. In spite of this Magistrate Kotze chooses to believe them and actively dismisses the physical evidence that contradicts their version.
2.14) No person of sound mind would be able to convict the accused individuals with the evidence entered into court. The handling of the evidence was biased and the accused individuals were never afforded the right to be innocent until proven guilty.”
Scheepers also tried to find out what happened to the ‘real victim’– tas he became convinced that the State had identified the wrong body as the victim. He writes:
The real Waterkloof Four victim may have received medical attention – and survived:
“I recently came into possession of a rather interesting document regarding the Waterkloof four case. Because of all the personal opinions and possible ulterior motives of certain people involved, I decided to focus purely on the court proceedings and the facts and arguments entered into the record when I initially investigated this travesty. As detailed in my report the court records were more than enough to show that there is no legal or intellectual way to convict the four youngsters of any of the charges brought against them.
The defence team was convinced the State had the wrong body: but nobody tried to find the real victim:
However, if you care to delve into the story that transpired before the court drama the ridiculous nature of this case quickly becomes apparent. Even though the defence team were convinced that the State had the wrong body, nothing worth mentioning was ever done to actually investigate the matter.
When the NPA was given the instruction to prosecute based on the stories told by the von Lansberg brothers, a search was done for a body in the area and time frame of the attack. When a body was found, all investigations stopped and the case was brought to court even though the injuries on the body did not match the description of the assault. Nobody cared to check hospital admissions or if they did it was not deemed helpful in destroying the four youngsters involved.
The closest state hospital to where the incident took place was Mamelodi Hospital and would have been well within reach of the park. The document in this article is a copy of the admission sheet for the morning after the assault took place and shows at least three possible candidates. One person in particular stood out and on further investigation it seems as if the person gave the wrong address.
The individual currently living at the specified address claims to have done so for a long time and apparently does not know the name at all. The name of the person in question is Peter Maseko and if anybody knows a person by that name that was assaulted during the end of November or early in December 2001, I would really like to speak to him regarding his injuries.”
Above: Mamelodi Hospital admission sheet (click to enlarge)
This might be nothing and there are other avenues that we are looking at, but the point is that the court did not remove all other reasonable possibilities and somehow the seemingly obvious areas were not investigated properly. Why would this be? People keep telling me (off the record of course) that this is a very “sensitive case” without offering any qualification for such a statement. Could it be “sensitive” because, once again, it was a monumental screw-up from the investigation right through to the trial and sentencing? That is becoming such a cliché that it is almost understandable that the people of South Africa cannot see the problem with this case.
Maybe there is some truth in a few of the conspiracy theories floating around about this case and the conviction really was massaged into place for whatever reason. Well, massage might be too soft a word given that the logic, or more accurately the lack thereof, demonstrated by Magistrate Kotze was quite brutal and thoroughly suspect at times. The judgement by Seriti and Ebersohn in support of Kotze was nothing short of criminally stupid and I still cannot believe that a legal professional can get away with such nonsense.
Anyway, the fact remains that the courts and/or investigators did not remove all reasonable possibilities and they definitively ignored serious contradicting evidence.
Scheepers writes: “So, if the unfortunate individual that was beaten up on that fateful night did not die from some other unrelated cause, he is still out there and we are looking for him…”
ROUTE BETWEEN CONSTANTIA PARK AND MORELETA PARK IN PRETORIA – THE TWO CRIME SCENES DEC 1 2011
ABOVE MAP: There were four young men (the accused) in one car, and two men (the witnesses) in another car. The two groups kept in touch with their cellphones. Schutte writes: ‘From the time that the group (accused and witnesses) had left Hatfield until they were placed in Moreletta Park by the next verifiable phone call is 14 minutes.
During those 14 minutes the vehicle containing the State witnesses:
- deviated from the route that the second car with the accused individuals took;
- looked for an open café, spotted a man sitting next to the road, warmed up their muscles, assaulted the man once, informed the second car of
what transpired, waited for five minutes for the second car to come back to where they were, proceeded to assault the same individual more savagely and then returned to the Moreletta Park area — before the next call placed them in Moreletta Park.
Witness contradicted himself:
The testimony by the accused makes the journey from Hatfield to Moreletta Park possible with no assumptions. To validate the version of the witnesses requires many assumption and impossible speeds from both vehicles. One of the state witnesses claimed that when they left Hatfield they agreed on a destination that would justify their route deviation (the accused disagreed), but towards the end of his testimony about this incident he states that after the assault he spoke to one of the accused to change the destination to the same address that he claimed they agreed on from the beginning. He contradicted himself,’ noted Scheepers.
State advocate Kruger: ‘they could have referred to an incident on another night; do not want to make a big deal of this incident ”
After all that speculation, State Advocate Kruger clearly stated that it is ‘entirely possible that the individuals were referring to an incident on
another night” and that “he did not want to make a big deal of this incident”. This means that the Defence denied the incident and the State had serious doubts about the incident and instead of evaluating the evidence and giving the benefit of the doubt to the accused, Magistrate Kotze ignored the doubt and made this event a fact. Magistrate Kotze is actively manipulating testimony and evidence instead of impartially evaluating it.” - for further documentation contact Charles Scheepers firstname.lastname@example.org
The Waterkloof Four today: the case has ruined the Becker family:
Article in Afrikaans magazine Huisgenoot: interviewed mother Mariëtte Becker on August 6 2010, describing that she was not even allowed to phone him to congratulate him on his 24th birthday. And his father Christo, until last year head of the prestigious Waterkloof Afrikaans High School, was in hospital from either an epileptic or heart-attack. The father, plunged deep into debt due to the trial, was being investigated over the disappearance of R5million. The mother remained adamant that the four youths did not kill the homeless man.