[LISTEN] Ferdi Barnard's parole and forgiveness in post-apartheid SA

Former apartheid hit-squad member Ferdi Barnard was granted parole on 7 March, igniting a debate among South Africans about forgiveness.

Barnard had been sentenced to life in prison in 1998 for crimes including murder and attempted murder.

From April, the convicted killer will serve out the remainder of his sentence under the supervision of a community corrections officer.

READ: Apartheid killer Ferdi Barnard granted parole

Barnard was convicted of the murder of anti-apartheid activist David Webster, with whom Methodist minister Paul Verryn had a close connection. Verryn conducted his funeral service almost 30 years ago.

I do remember the profound grief and sense of loss in the community.

Paul Verryn, Methodist Church minister

Verryn acknowledges the mixed feelings ignited by Barnard's parole, saying it raises the question of how the nation deals with the trauma it was exposed to by the apartheid state.

He warns however, against being imprisoned by what he calls the poison of hatred and craving of retribution.

So I think it's a very important step that is being taken, to implement as it were the decision that this nation has taken against revenge and violence and unforgiveness.

Paul Verryn, Methodist Church minister

Verryn also makes the point that a lot of work has been done with Barnard in prison to get him to a point of understanding the damage he has done.

I know there are still people who think what he did was unforgivable, but what is the purpose of keeping him in prison any longer? What do we achieve as a nation? I also know that his (Webster's) partner Maggie Friedman has also come to a place of wanting to let go of that dreadful memory.

Paul Verryn, Methodist Church minister

Listen to the full discussion below:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Afcon qualifier: 'Bafana just need to focus'

Afcon qualifier: 'Bafana just need to focus'

Daily Sun Editor Matthews Mpete gives his take on Bafana Bafana's chances against Libya on Sunday evening.

Can you avoid pesticides in the fruit and veg you buy?

Can you avoid pesticides in the fruit and veg you buy?

Twyg founder Jackie May says big retailers must be made aware that consumers are asking questions about shop produce.

Christchurch attacks ask us, 'who are we?' - CT interfaith chairperson

Christchurch attacks ask us, 'who are we?' - CT interfaith chairperson

Cape Town Interfaith Initiative to hold observance of compassion for Christchurch at a highly symbolic venue on Sunday evening.

Stories find me - Zakes Mda

Stories find me - Zakes Mda

Acclaimed author Zakes Mda talks about storytelling, the need to humanise characters and his last novel, 'The Zulus of New York'.

Four Paws off to Gaza to rescue abused zoo animals

Four Paws off to Gaza to rescue abused zoo animals

Footage of a lion being declawed with garden shears at Rafah Zoo sparked outrage around the world.

Relax! No load shedding on Sunday

Relax! No load shedding on Sunday

Eskom announces there will be no blackouts on Sunday, after implementing Stage 2 load shedding on Saturday.

Popular articles
SA Special Olympics team bring home 59 medals

SA Special Olympics team bring home 59 medals

The team has scooped fifty-nine medals - 35 gold, 12 silver and 12 bronze.

 Allow farmers to go off the Eskom grid and turn to solar power - Agri SA

Allow farmers to go off the Eskom grid and turn to solar power - Agri SA

Agri SA’s Nicol Jansen, explains how SA's agricultural industry could benefit if more farms were allowed to go off the Eskom grid.

NG Kerk minister condemned for showing solidarity with Christchurch victims

NG Kerk minister condemned for showing solidarity with Christchurch victims

NG Kerk dominee Riaan de Villiers says he was told he is not allowed to call Muslims our brother and sisters, and children of God.

'South African society even more unequal than under apartheid'

'South African society even more unequal than under apartheid'

Independent consultant at the Thabo Mbeki Foundation Professor Barney Pityana blames political leadership for the moral decay.

[WATCH] Chaos as suicidal SA pilot crashes plane into clubhouse

[WATCH] Chaos as suicidal SA pilot crashes plane into clubhouse

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

Paramedics fear for their lives as attacks on EMS crews continue

Paramedics fear for their lives as attacks on EMS crews continue

An ambulance crew was held at gunpoint, assaulted and robbed of their belongings while on a call out in Khayelitsha.

SA only nation capable of hosting Afcon 2019, says sports pundit

SA only nation capable of hosting Afcon 2019, says sports pundit

Safa will make a bid to host Afcon next year after Cameroon was stripped of its hosting rights over security concerns and other delays.