The Citizen understands that an armed robbery took place on Sunday morning at the luxury Delaire Graff venue in Stellenbosch in the Cape Winelands.
Tour operator Rehad Rahim tweeted on Sunday afternoon that he could not even enter the premises due to a heavy police presence, believed to be after the estate’s jewellery store was robbed.
Wow….police all over the show & we can't get in. DELAIRE GRAFF Jewellery store hit this morning….big time! Eina! ????
— Rehad (CAPE TOWN) (@rehad_rahim) May 21, 2017
A source confirmed that a vehicle used in the robbery, allegedly a white Mercedes-Benz, had plates that were falsified. The vehicle was abandoned in Paarl.
The estate, which offers lodges and a spa, is billed as “a world-leading destination for wine, art and hospitality in an unrivalled setting”.
It is also known as a top art destination in the Stellenbosch Valley.
“Each piece of art that adorns the walls and gardens has been personally handpicked by owner Laurence Graff from a much-treasured personal collection. Gaze upon works by renowned local artists such as Anton and Lionel Smit, Deborah Bell, Dylan Lewis, Cecil Skotnes, Kendell Geers, Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi and William Kentridge.”
At this stage it is not known if any of these highly prized and valuable artworks were stolen in the robbery, or if any of the guests or staff were hurt during the commission of the crime.
We are attempting to contact the estate for comment. The phone at reception rang unanswered on Sunday afternoon.