Home South Africa News Wife and co-accused apply for legal aid in Stellenbosch farm murder case

Wife and co-accused apply for legal aid in Stellenbosch farm murder case

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Zurenah Smit, accused of murdering her Stellenbosch farmer husband, and one of her co-accused on Friday applied for legal aid in the Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court.

Smit and Derek Sait, who up until now have made use of private attorneys, are out on bail of R10,000 for the murder charge and R5,000 related to guns stolen from Smit’s safe.

In a surprise turn, their murder co-accused Steven Damon, who is Sait’s brother-in-law, launched a bail application.

He had not applied during the initial proceedings. His application was postponed to 8 March.

All three now have legal aid representation.

Two years ago, a local publication reported that vintner Stefan had changed his will in December 2018, leaving Zurenah nothing except the right of residence in a Stellenbosch retirement village.

A second will later emerged, dated January 2019, which Smit’s daughters contested, saying it had been forged by Zurenah.

2019 will appoint Zurenah as the executor and principal heir.

Judge Elizabeth Baartman had granted an interim order in 2019 which prohibited Zurenah from acting as executor.

Meanwhile, it emerged in bail proceedings that Sait, a private investigator, was the only breadwinner in his home.

Smit was murdered on 2 June 2019 in what was said to have been an assassination that was made to look like a hit executed by people occupying land illegally.

Damon, Sait, and Sait’s brother, Bradley van Eyslend, were on duty the night Smit was shot dead on Louiesenhof wine farm.

They claimed they did not hear any gunshots despite being in an adjacent room.

They were part of a security team employed by the farmer after the occupation in 2018 of Watergang, which Smit’s family-owned via a trust.

Armed suspects are said to have entered the couple’s home through an unlocked door while they were having dinner with a friend.

Stefan was shot dead.

Zurenah and Sait were charged with theft and illegal gun possession while in police custody for murder.

This after it’s understood two guns stolen from Stefan’s safe in 2018 were found in Sait’s home. One of the guns is believed to have been used to kill him.

The case was postponed to 23 March.

-The Citizen

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