On Friday a memorial service was held at the Moederkerk Dutch Reformed Church for the murdered Stellenbosch farmer Stefan Smit.
Smit’s wife Zuhena was under heavy guard at the memorial, four bodyguards were positioned strategically in the Church, eyeing mourners from their vantage points.
Outside, another guarded the side entrance.
Although the church was near capacity, all the pews on the right flank were kept empty, save for right in front where a bodyguard occupied the pew next to Zuhena’s.
Smit owned the Louisenhof wine farm on the outskirts of Stellenbosch. Louisenhof was the subject of a land occupation in August 2018.
Pieter Haasbroek, Smit’s friend, said: “I am glad that the pastor didn’t say this was the will of the Lord. It was in each of these cases the will of the murderer.”
Stefan Smit is the seventh friend Pieter Haasbroek has lost to murder.
Haasbroek knew about the R200,000 which vanished from Smit’s safe a few weeks before his murder, and said the theft was orchestrated to happen “when his door was coincidentally open”.
He told the Sunday Times last week that Smit was a safety-conscious man and had recently hired a heavily armed security service to protect him, including a guard who had access to the house.
The guard did not respond when four men in balaclavas men entered the house, tied up him, Zuhena and a Swiss guest, then shot Smit three times before leaving with some jewellery.
Presiding over Friday’s service, Prof Daniël Louw spoke to the mostly conservative congregation about dignity in SA and its centrality to peace.
“Fourteen people were killed in the streets of Delft last weekend. Death creeps in through the windows. There is no dignity left in SA,” said Louw.