The tragic murder of Stefan Smit has left the community of Stellenbosch reeling after the 62-year-old was gunned down at his Louisenhof wine estate. The killing has hit a particularly sore spot for many South Africans, as Smit was highly-aware the danger he was facing. Now, even Cyril Ramaphosa is getting it in the neck.
Stefan Smit: Murder angers community
Speaking to the New York Times, the landowner revealed there had been threats against his life as recently as March. It comes just a couple of weeks after another high-profile landowner was killed on her farm: Former DA Councillor Annette Kennealy met a similarly dark fate in Limpopo.
There is palpable anger in the Western Cape on Monday, and it’s a feeling shared by the DA’s Parliamentary Caucus Chair, Annelie Lotriet. She has directed her frustrations towards the man at the very top: Cyril Ramaphosa, who made several promises about land security during a campaign visit to Stellenbosch in April, is now in the firing line.
Cyril Ramaphosa chastised for “empty promises” in Stellenbosch
Lotriet wasn’t happy with the “empty promises” the president delivered during his last trip to wine country. He implicitly told the crowds that there would be “no more land grabs” in South Africa. According to the DA representative, this was a dishonest statement.
“It has come to our attention that certain groups and organisations are actively inciting violence in rural areas. Shortly before the election, President Cyril Ramaphosa met with wine farmers at Stellenbosch and made all kinds of election promises, including on rural safety.”
“However, it is becoming increasingly clear that these are just empty promises and that the president and the ANC have no serious intentions to bring about rural safety and security in South Africa.”
Stellenbosch farm murder: DA plan a way forward
Lotriet also stated that the DA would seek to meet with South African Police Commissioner, General Khehla Sitole, in a bid to iron out a proper “rural safety” plan.
The party have already suggested that isolated farm communities get their own specialised unit to keep them protected, but there’s been no sign of compromise from the national government. Western Cape Minister of Agriculture Ivan Meyer is set to address the issue on Monday afternoon.