'A South African wine merchant who spoke out against attacks on white farmers was found dead after being shot on Sunday night while dining with family and friends.
Stefan Smit, 62, had been openly critical of the threat of land grabs on his property - a large estate in Stellenbosch, Western Cape - South Africa's most famous wine region.
It was a murder seemingly fuelled by a land dispute created when a squat straddling Smit's Louisenhof Estate was set up, expanding into a vast settlement.
The farmer had previously complained about how citizens from a nearby township had begun erecting shacks at the back of his farm, culminating in him getting an injunction to prevent people from encroaching on his space.
Smit was killed when four men entered his vineyard through an unlocked back door and shot him dead. His wife and a family friend managed to survive the attack.
Pieter Haasbroek, a friend of Mr. Smit, told The New York Times: 'They were busy eating dinner with friends when four masked men came into the house. They shot Smit dead. What we feared came true.'
The dispute over land has been ongoing and increasingly fractious, but police said it was too early to tell if Smit's death was connected to that or a random murder.
The same dispute saw the murder of Annette Kennealy, 51, a farmer activist from Limpopo province who was beaten to death with a hammer and iron rod in late May.
South Africa's ruling party, the African National Congress, has denounced the violence against farmers, but farming groups still accuse the party of not doing enough to stop it.
Ms Kennealy's and Mr Smit's murders comes as the government, led by Cyril Ramaphosa, pushes ahead with plans to alter South Africa's constitution to allow land to be seized from farmers without having to compensate them.'
Read more: Another white South African farmer who spoke out about land grabs is shot dead as he eats dinner at home with his family just weeks after fellow landowner was beaten to death
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