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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 3 of Episode 81

13:42The assassinations of Chris Hani and Griffiths Mxenge had been brought to book, but that is not true of those who assassinated Victoria Mxenge, Dulcie September, David Webster and Anton Lubowski. But at least in the case of David Webster someone has been criminally charged with murder. The charges against Ferdi Barnard did not exactly come as a surprise.Full Transcript and References
14:07David Webster was not one of the struggle’s public figures. He put his energies into helping individuals jailed and tortured by the apartheid state. He organized support groups for their families and campaigned against detention without trial.Full Transcript
14:32 As the government detains people so too do their families join our organisation, join the Detainee Parents Support Committee.Full Transcript
14:40On a public holiday morning in 1989 he was assassinated outside his home in Troyeville, shot at close range with a shotgun. Six months later the chief suspect in the killing, Ferdi Barnard was himself detained under the internal security act. He was released for lack of evidence. A year after the killing the Harms Commission failed to get to the bottom of Webster’s killing. At least two other Commissions also failed. At the inquest into the murder two and a half years after the fact, Barnard was again the chief suspect. But the judge, unable to negotiate his way through the morass of lies and intimidated witnesses, effectively let Barnard off. Full Transcript
15:20…And you can be the best detective in the world, without the evidence and without the clues you can be Sherlock Holmes and you will never solve a case. That’s unfortunately what happened here. Like any other murder investigation that’s unsolved this thing will go on until the end. It’s going to be never ending until they find the truth or never find the truth. But as far as I’m concerned I’m glad that it’s over for me.Full Transcript
15:41He was right about one thing the case did come up again. This time it resurfaced because of Barnard’s own big mouth. // The murder of this decent, defenceless man was a shocking act that continued to generate huge interest years after the fact. In the mean time however Ferdi Barnard was bragging about it. According to the evidence so far Barnard used to tell acquaintances that he’d shot David Webster in order to make himself sound like a big man or he would tell girlfriends about it in order to justify his womanizing.Full Transcript
16:11Amore Badenhorst was Barnard’s lover for five years and this is what she told the Pretoria High Court this month. // At the time of the inquest Ferdi was two timing me with Brenda Milne. I was tired of playing second fiddle. He told me he couldn’t make our affair public until after the inquest was over, because Brenda would be angry and she knew too much about Webster. On the day of the inquest verdict I sat in my car listening to the radio praying that he would be acquitted.Full Transcript
16:40While she prayed Barnard, cleared of involvement, was giving a press conference. // ‘Ek dink net dit was miskien ‘n baie geskikte politieke speelbal op hierdie stadium, hierdie saak, om dit so uit te buit of dat dit so gebeur dat dit tans gebeur het’ [I think it maybe was an appropriate political play-ball at this stage, this case, the way in which it was exploited]. // He drove from the press conference to her house.Full Transcript
17:03I was in my bedroom and Ferdi came in. He slumped on the floor between the bed and the wall and started talking. He could see I was impatient; I wanted to get to my parents house and just before I left the room he said. I shot him. I didn’t believe him. I thought he was saying it to keep my attention. Full Transcript
17:23Badenhorst said Webster’s killing came up again, often. // I began to take it seriously when he told me in about 1995 that Calla Botha was the driver of the car. He said Calla was so shocked that he had to threaten him with a gun to get him to drive away. He told me Webster was an ANC activist and the day he was shot Webster had plans to blow up a bus full of people.Full Transcript
17:45In about 1994 the couple were on their way to visit Barnard’s parents in Nylstroom. They stopped by the roadside, possibly to light a crack pipe, and climbed an earth dam wall. // He told me he threw the shotgun in the dam, the gun he used to shoot Webster.Full Transcript
18:00It is expected that the court will hear evidence on a weapon eventually fished out of the dam. When Barnard’s cocaine habit worsened and he stopped spending money on anything but drugs Amore Badenhorst turned on him. She ranted, shot at him, burned his sauna to keep warm. Nothing would make him support her and their daughter. So, in 1996 she played her trump card, she sold her story to Rapport newspaper, detailing what Barnard had told her about Webster’s death. The case was reopened and this time it was serious. Barnard has been formally charged with murdering David Webster among 33 other criminal and political charges. Amore Badenhorst was just the first among a 120 witnesses in a trial expected to last six months. Senior state advocate Ackerman and a crack investigative team have constructed a meticulous case. They have tracked down every lowlife Barnard have ever worked with, every fool he ever scammed, anyone who might have heard Barnard boast about Webster’s death. They ...moreFull Transcript
19:51He told us with relish how Webster fell on the pavement, lay there and suffocated in his own blood.Full Transcript
19:57Later that night Barnard admitted or boasted that he had been the assassin. If Amore Badenhorst and Johan Kruger are telling the truth then Barnard knows an awful lot about Webster’s death. The reason Webster had to die, who drove the car, where they swopped cars after the shooting, where the murder weapon was disposed of and even gruesomely, Webster’s final minutes. This is information the TRC needed to hear.Full Transcript
20:24The first thing and most important thing for me is the truth about why David was killed. I want to know why David in particular was killed, what are the reasons that somebody decided that he should be killed. And I want to know who it was who made that decision. Full Transcript
20:46But Barnard treated the idea of amnesty with contempt. He and his military intelligence colleagues all but ignored the TRC. Nine years after Webster died Barnard’s chances of amnesty have come and gone. The Webster case, as his finding out at the moment, was never closed.Full Transcript
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