Discharge application by Aranos murder accused dimissed

24 Sep 2015 14:50pm


Farmer Willem Visagie Barnard accused of killing his wife with a revolver at his farmhouse in Aranos in 2010, suffered a heavy blow when his application for discharge was dismissed on Thursday.

The application by the 61-year-old accused was dismissed in a ruling handed down by presiding High Court Judge Naomi Shivute here on Thursday morning.

Barnard is facing a charge of murder, and 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 if he is found guilty by the court at the end of the trial.

According to the summary of substantial facts contained in the charge sheet, Barnard was said to have been under the influence of alcohol when he allegedly gunned down his wife, Anette Barnard, in the sitting room at Farm Chorus on the night of 10 April 2010 in the Hardap Region.

"The State (prosecution) has established a prima facie case against the accused person - Willem Visagie Barnard - and this requires him to be placed on his defence. In the result, the application for discharge is dismissed and the accused person is put on his defence," stated the judge as she declined the application for discharge.

Barnard, through his privately-instructed defence lawyer Advocate Louis Botes, brought the now unsuccessful application for discharge in terms of Section 174 of the Criminal Procedures Act of 1977.

He argued that he cannot be held criminally responsible for the death of his wife because he was allegedly not in a normal state of his mind as he was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the commission of the crime. It was reported that the deceased person died instantly from a single gunshot to the head.

According to the Police, the couple had been drinking that night. Upon arrest, the accused person told the police that he was apparently tired of his deceased wife's continuous comments over the murder of right-wing leader Eugene Terre'blanche in South Africa.

After the shooting, accused Barnard allegedly called his son-in-law and told him that he had just killed his wife. State Advocate Ethel Ndlovu is appearing for the prosecution. Barnard is free on bail. Trial continues on Friday.