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Wife of killed wine farmer Stefan Smit charged with murder, robbery and assault

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Wife of killed wine farmer Stefan Smit charged with murder, robbery and assault

Zurenah Smit, accused of the murder of her wine farmer husband Stefan, read Islamic scripture as she waited for proceedings against her to commence on Tuesday.

Dressed in black traditional Muslim attire, the petite widow cut a tiny figure as she stood in the dock of the Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court clutching onto a spectacular case.

Magistrate Alaric Amos postponed the case against her until Thursday for a bail application.

Smit, who married the wine farmer in 2005, faces charges of murder, house robbery, illegal firearm and ammunition possession as well as assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm.

She handed herself over to police on Monday, four days after her two co-accused Derek Sait and Steven Damon were arrested on the same charges. Police had gone in search of her that same day, but she had managed to evade arrest.

Sait, a former policeman, was one of the couple’s bodyguards. Damon is his brother-in-law.

The security team was employed by the couple after the occupation in 2018 of Watergang, next to Louiesenhof, which Smit’s family-owned via a trust. The watergang was occupied by backyarders from nearby Kayamandi who renamed it Azania. Following an application for an indictment to remove them, the municipality eventually bought the land from the owners at R45 710 000.

Despite tight security, including a double fencing system, an electric fence and barbed wire, four armed suspects had, on 2 June 2019, entered Louiesenhof through an unlocked door while the Smits were having dinner with a friend.

Smit, 62, had been shot dead in an apparent house robbery during which two cellphones and a handbag were stolen.

Zurenah and the guest escaped unscathed while Smit was shot multiple times in the head and upper body.

It was reported that her husband had changed his will in December 2018 and that Zurenah had not inherited anything except the right of residence in a Stellenbosch retirement village.

It is understood that Smit will be held at Pollsmoor until her next appearance.

-The Citizen