A Stellenbosch farmer, Stefan Smit, 62, was shot and killed in his house on Sunday night.
Smit owned the Louisenhof wine farm on the outskirts of Stellenbosch. Louisenhof was the subject of a land occupation in August 2018.
Hundreds of residents of nearby Kayamandi and surrounds started erecting informal housing and shacks on the property.
Smit interdicted further occupation of his property and authorities evicted the illegal occupiers shortly thereafter.
The occupation occurred during the heightened national debate over the expropriation of land without compensation.
Piet Carinus, chairperson of the Stellenbosch agriculture union, said the community was shocked by Smit’s death.
Information is still sketchy, but it is believed that four men entered Smit’s home wearing balaclavas and shot him. It doesn’t appear as if robbery was the prime motive.
Carinus revealed that Smit had increased security and had extra guards on the property, since his farm was occupied. He added that Smit had also received threats.
Another wine farmer in the district told News24 that the murder would rattle the community.
“We don’t know what the motive is, but Smit was resisting the illegal occupation of his land. It was a matter of principle to him. It is shocking and we’re up in arms,” the farmer, who didn’t want to be identified, said.
Agri Western Cape chief executive Jannie Strydom said President Cyril Ramaphosa needed to explain to producers why they should remain in the country if the safety of farmers and their workers cannot be guaranteed.
Ramaphosa visited Stellenbosch farmers in April, shortly before the election, and assured them of government’s commitment to rural safety.
Police confirmed a man had been killed on a Stellenbosch farm.