Stellenbosch wine farmer embroiled in land invasion wrangle shot dead

03 June 2019 - 09:51 By Dan Meyer
Wine farmer Stefan Smit was shot dead on the farm Louisenhof in Stellenbosch on Sunday evening.
Wine farmer Stefan Smit was shot dead on the farm Louisenhof in Stellenbosch on Sunday evening.
Image: Facebook/Louiesenhof Wines

A 62-year-old wine farmer whose property was at the centre of a land-grab conflict that made international headlines was shot and killed in front of his wife by four armed suspects on Sunday evening.

Condolences poured in for Stefan Smit from Louiesenhof Wines as news of the attack spread on Monday.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Andrè Traut - who did not name the victim - said the farmer, his wife and a family friend were having dinner at around 7pm when four men, allegedly wearing balaclavas, “entered through an unlocked door and shot and killed him”.

Traut described the incident as a house robbery.

"His wife and a family friend who were present at the time of the incident both survived the attack. The suspects fled with personal belongings and are yet to be arrested."

Louisenhof became embroiled in a land invasion drama in 2018 that featured in the New York Times in an article that investigated the issue of land ownership and inequality in South Africa.

Smit was quoted as saying that he “couldn’t breathe” as he watched people invade part of his property. An urgent interdict was obtained to clear structures built on the land and prevent more people occupying it.

This is a developing story.


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