PRETORIA – While apartheid-era hitman Ferdi Barnard has been granted parole, he will not live entirely free and will remain under the supervision of a community corrections officer for the rest of his life.
Justice Minister Michael Masutha made the announcement on Thursday after first denying the offender’s application in 2016.
Barnard was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1998 for numerous crimes, including the 1989 murder of anti-apartheid activist and academic, Dr David Webster.
Minister Masutha says that he personally engaged with David Webster’s partner Maggie Friedman and ordered that Barnard conclude victim-offender dialogues.
Former Truth and Reconciliation Commission investigator Piers Pigou says that Barnard has been eligible for parole for about three years.
“It’s not a case of he is simply going to be released and nothing will happen, he will be under certain conditions and of course we don’t know what that will be and he’ll be under those conditions for the rest of his life, so the state will keep some monitoring presence. The fact is, he has served 20 years of a 63-year sentence.”
Barnard’s parole is effective from next month.