One of the men who organised a march to the Stellenbosch municipality offices on Thursday has been shot dead outside his Kayamandi home.
Kayamandi residents had planned a shutdown march to end at the municipal offices at 11.00am, but at around 05.30am on Thursday morning, Midas Wanana was shot outside his home in O-Zone.
A community leader in Kayamandi named Grace confirmed to News24 that the victim was indeed Wanana, after TimesLIVE and Netwerk24 reported that Wanana’s death was as a result of a political leadership battle between different groups in the area.
Wanana had also been a key member of the community of “Azania” in Kayamandi. The group had previously moved from backyard shacks in the area to a vacant plot called Watergang, which they thought belonged to the Stellenbosch municipality.
Following an application for an interdict to remove them, the municipality eventually bought the land from the owner, Stefan Smit, for R45,710,000.
Smit himself was gunned down two months ago in June on his farm by masked men, News24 reported.
Wanana at the time expressed his shock at Smit’s murder, saying it was a criminal matter that the police had to investigate, News24 reported.
The funds used to purchase the property came from a provincial human settlements department grant. Stellenbosch Mayor Gesie van Deventer had previously indicated that the property was in the process of being transferred to the municipality.
Western Cape police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said the 44-year-old was shot by three unknown suspects. “The victim was admitted to hospital, [where] he later died,” he said.
The suspects are still at large.
“The circumstances are being investigated and the motive is yet to be established,” said Traut.