WINDHOEK, 15 MAY – An elderly farmer who was found guilty in the High Court on 23 January 2018 of shooting and killing his wife at Aranos in the Hardap Region in 2010, now wants to be released on bail due to poor health.
Willem Visagie Barnard, 65, was found guilty of murder with direct intent to kill in connection with the events of the night of 10 April 2010 when he gunned down his wife, Anette Barnard, with a revolver in their living room at Farm Chorus.
The convicted pensioner now wants to be granted bail before the handing down of the sentence in the matter, because he is suffering from a gallbladder infection and terrible back pain which developed upon his incarceration at the Windhoek Correctional Facility from the day of his conviction.
Barnard told High Court Judge Naomi Shivute on Tuesday that apart from the infection and back pain, he also needs to undergo an urgent medical operation in order to ease continuous pain in respect of his dislocated right arm and related pains in the shoulder.
“When I walk for about 50 metres in prison at the moment, I am always in terrible pain. I want this court to grant me new bail or reinstate my old bail, because I need to go and urgently see a private medical practitioner in respect of my poor health conditions,” Barnard told the court.
He said he will stay at his Farm Chorus once released on bail and has no intention of absconding from Namibia to other countries in order to evade incarceration or avoid serving his punishment.
State Advocate Cliff Lutibezi opposed the granting of bail at this stage, arguing that Barnard’s poor health only emerged now and that there were no health problems prior to his convictions.
In her judgement on 23 January 2018, Judge Shivute said Barnard’s testimonies that he had no recollection of the events prior, during and after the killing incident because he was allegedly suffering from temporary non-pathological criminal incapacity, are mere afterthoughts in order to hide his wrongful actions.
She said Barnard was in full control of the situation and was at all material times conscious and was not suffering from any temporary non-pathological criminal incapacity.
Barnard’s defence’s argument that he was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the commission of the crime was also rejected as false by the court.
Barnard said he only recalled waking up the following morning and seeing the lifeless body of his wife in a pool of blood and a revolver lying on the floor.
His case is being dealt with as per the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, Act No. 4 of 2003, which calls for a long custodial term upon conviction.
The late Anette died instantly from a single gunshot to the head.
Upon his arrest, Barnard told the police he was tired of his wife’s constant comments on the murder of right-wing leader Eugene Terre’Blanche in South Africa.
After the shooting, he called his son-in-law and told him that he had just killed his wife.
Advocate Louis Botes is representing the convicted Barnard.
The bail request hearing continues on Wednesday.