June 4, 2019
Yes, the man who got killed was white – but don’t forget that the blacks are the real victims here.
Because these privileged white farmers are hogging all of the good land, of course.
A South African farmer whose vineyard in the Stellenbosch wine region had been occupied by shack dwellers since last year has been shot and killed in his home, heightening tensions amid a contentious national debate over the ownership of land.
Four men entered the house of the farmer, Stefan Smit, on Sunday evening before killing him, said Lt. Col. Andre Traut, a police spokesman. Mr. Smit’s home is about 30 miles east of Cape Town, in South Africa’s most famous wine region. Mr. Smit’s wife and a family friend were both present during the attack and survived, Colonel Traut said, adding that the suspects fled with personal belongings.
But it was too soon to say whether the killing was related to the dispute over land or was a random criminal act.
The killing of Mr. Smit, 62, a prominent white farmer whose family has grown grapes for generations, immediately drew strong reactions from groups representing white farmers and white-minority rights.
A quarter of a century after the end of apartheid, white South Africans, who make up about eight percent of the population, still dominate the economy and own the country’s most productive land.
The true face of persecution.
Last August, Mr. Smit’s farm, Louiesenhof, which borders an overcrowded black township called Kayamandi, became a battleground in the national debate.
Overnight, hundreds of township residents invaded a hilly stretch of Mr. Smit’s vineyard and erected shacks on it. In interviews with The New York Times, Mr. Smit said that he could no longer “breathe” on his property and had decided to sell the occupied part to the Stellenbosch municipal government.
According to government documents, the municipality and Mr. Smit signed an agreement in April that called for the occupied land to be sold to Stellenbosch for 45.7 million rand, or about $3.1 million.
At the farm on Monday morning, a guard said he was unaware of any recent threats against Mr. Smit. The guard, who asked not to be named because he was not allowed to speak about the matter, said that Mr. Smit was killed around 7 p.m. on Sunday and that the suspects had taken cellphones.
In an email to a local news organization, Pieter Haasbroek, a friend of Mr. Smit, wrote: “They were busy eating dinner with friends when four masked men came into the house. They shot Smit dead. What we feared came true.”