The shooting of a Stellenbosch wine farmer is no longer viewed as a farm murder by police, as investigations have now focused to suspects who may have personal links to the victim.
Stefan Smit was fatally shot on June 2 on wine farm Louiesenhof, and as reported by IOL, did not conform to a typical farm attack. According to initial police reports, Smit was having supper with his wife and a family friend when four armed men allegedly entered the Smit home through an unlocked door and killed him.
Both Smit’s wife and guest survived the shooting, and only two cellphones and a handbag were taken during the incident.
The two survivors are now crucial witnesses in the incident.
Police were first suspicious after the incident when a closer inspection of the home and fencing surrounding the property showed no signs of forced entry. Examination of CCTV footage also showed that no attackers were seen entering or exiting the home.
Other telltale signs such as unlocked door allowing the attackers entry into the home also do not check out with police, as Smit was a known stickler for safety and security. There is also no evidence that the home was ransacked for valuables, nor were the victims tortured, as is typical with a farm attack.
Police also grew suspicious when they found out that Smit had recently changed his will after finding about R200 000 stolen from his safe. The farmer did not lay any charges after the cash was stolen.
Police were also suspicious when they found out that Smit’s personal bodyguard was in his nearby room at the time of the attack, and had heard nothing at the time.
Picture: Louiesnhof Wine Estate