WINDHOEK – A 61-year-old farmer from the Aranos area pleaded not guilty to killing his 55-year-old wife. who was found dead with a single gunshot to the head.
Willem Barnard said, in his plea explanation, he cannot remember what had transpired on the night his wife, Anette Barnard, died because he partook some brandy.
After consuming some “brandy” while he and the deceased watched the live broadcasts of the funeral of late politician, Eugene Terblanche, he went to shower and “passed out” from the alcoholic spirit made from fermented fruit juicy.
The State alleges Barnard shot the deceased after an argument erupted between them over Terblanche.
According to Barnard, he returned to the living room where his wife was still watching television and joined her on the couch where he apparently fell asleep.
When he woke up, he said, he saw the deceased lying head-down on the coffee table and he saw a stain on the table.
He initially thought it was alcohol spilt on the table, but realised it was a pool of blood, according to him.
“I was shocked,” he said.
Barnard went on to say that he then saw the phone next to him and called his daughter’s number, but her husband picked up whom he told “your mother was shot”.
He stated that after his son-in-law told him to leave everything as it is, he went outside to wait for them.
He said that he cannot recall much after that.
According to Barnard, he cannot recall what exactly he said to his son-in-law or handling the revolver on the night in question or hearing a gunshot.
“On the day in question, me and my wife had no argument, we, in the course of the morning, even discussed to make love that evening,” he told the court.
Barnard denies he shot the deceased as alleged by the State and put the State to the proof thereof.
Barnard also said evidence will be adduced that, due to the timing, amount of and the contribution of psychoactive substances he took during the day of the incident together with the alcohol he consumed, he, at the time of the alleged incident, was unable to appreciate the moral and legal wrongfulness of his actions.
In this regard, he claims temporary insanity if the State should prove he indeed shot the deceased.
Testimony delivered so far in the trial paints a picture of a timid man overshadowed by an aggressive and sometimes violent woman.
Evidence has emerged the deceased was a quarrelsome and aggressive person, especially when she was under the influence of alcohol or medication.
It was revealed, the deceased on three occasions tried to kill Barnard by, among others, firing two shots at him and at another time stabbing him with a knife in the stomach.
At another time she also tried to poison him, the court heard.
Barnard is represented by Advocate Louis Botes on instructions from SC Garbers and Advocate Palmer Khumalo, assisted by Cliff Luthibezi, is prosecuting.
Judge Naomi Shivute is on the bench.
The case continues and Barnard is out on bail.