A community activist who led several land occupations in Stellenbosch was shot dead in his home on the morning of Thursday 14 August 2019. Midasi “Midas” Wanana has been confirmed dead by the Western Cape SAPS, just hours before he was due to take part in a service delivery march into Stellies town centre.
Wanana was a resident of Kayamandi. The small, cramped township on the outskirts of Stellenbosch has an incredibly dense population for its 2km boundaries, and their quest for more space caused one of the most infamous land disputes in recent South African history.
Kayamandi residents had planned a shutdown march to end at the municipal offices at 11:00 but, at around 05:30 on Thursday morning, Midas Wanana was shot outside his home in O-Zone.
Wanana was also 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 understood 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. Midas Wanana condemned the killing of Smit at the time.