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Masutha approves placement of David Webster’s killer‚ Ferdi Barnard‚ on parole

Ferdi Barnard‚ the man who shot and killed anti-apartheid activist Dr David Webster in 1989‚ will be placed on full parole from April 2.

On Thursday‚ Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha announced he had approved the placement on full parole of Barnard.

Barnard was sentenced to life imprisonment on June 4 1998‚ after being convicted on numerous charges‚ including‚ murder‚ attempted murder‚ defeating the ends of justice and unlawful possession of firearms.

One of the two murder charges was in connection with the killing of anti-apartheid activist and Wits University academic Webster on May 1 1989.

Barnard shot and killed Webster outside his home in Troyeville‚ Johannesburg‚ at the behest of the apartheid police’s security branch‚ the Civil Co-operation Bureau (CCB).

The CCB told Barnard that Webster‚ a pacifist‚ was involved in terrorist activities.

In reaching the decision to grant parole‚ Masutha satisfied himself that Barnard had met all requirements for parole.

The Department of Justice said that as part of the consultations before finalising his decision‚ Masutha personally engaged with Maggie Friedman‚ Webster’s partner.

“After raising her concerns with Minister Masutha‚ Ms Friedman indicated that she had no objection to the placement of Mr Barnard on parole‚” the department said in a statement.

In terms of section 136(3)(a)(b) of Correctional Services Act‚ an offender serving a life sentence is entitled to be considered for day parole or parole after having served 20 years or above on their life sentence.

The department said the profile of such an offender must be submitted to the National Council for Correctional Services (NCCS)‚ which must make a recommendation to the minister regarding the placement of the offender on day parole or parole.

In terms of the act‚ the minister has discretion‚ if the NCCS has made a favourable recommendation‚ as to whether or not to confirm the placement on parole of an offender.

Barnard has served more than 20 years of the life sentence imposed in 1998.

He was first considered for parole by Masutha on August 29 2016 and a further profile was requested pending‚ among other reasons‚ the conclusion of victim-offender dialogues with all identified victims.

The department said the placement of Barnard on parole did not mean the end of his life sentence.

“He has been transferred to the Community Corrections Office‚ which will supervise and monitor him as he will be serving the remainder of his sentence in the community for the rest of his natural life.”

Source: TMG Digital.