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Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

AKA murder case: Here’s what we know so far

The suspects will make their first court appearance on Thursday.

A year later, the murder of rapper Kiernan Forbes, popularly known as AKA, is back in the spotlight just weeks after South Africans commemorated his death on 10 February.

However, it is the arrest of seven suspects, that has given the Megacy hopes that the Forbes family may get justice.

Police Minister Bheki Cele and KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) police commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi held a media briefing on Tuesday night, where they announced the arrest of six suspects in connection to the murder of the rapper and his friend Tebello “Tibz” Motsoane.

Forbes and Motsoane were gunned down outside the now-defunct Wish on Florida restaurant in Durban, on 10 February 2023.

The suspects will appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, except for the other two currently detained in eSwatini.

AKA murder: what we know

Police arrested the alleged mastermind or coordinator, two shooters, two spotters, the organiser of the firearms and the seventh suspect was arrested on Wednesday morning.

  • AKA was the target of the hit and Tibz happened to be “in the wrong place at the wrong time”.
  • The motive of the killing is still unknown to the police.
  • AKA landed at the King Shaka International Airport on 10 February 2023 and was followed by the coordinator from the airport to the hotel where he was staying and later to the restaurant
  • One spotter was also in the restaurant watching AKA’s every move and alerting the accomplices
  • Although the end game was to kill the rapper, the killers had to improvise as AKA stood outside the restaurant for longer than expected. “The plan was not to shoot him in the manner that they did; they were going to shoot him in the vehicle, but because he stood outside longer greeting his friend, the hitmen did not want to wait,” said Mkhwanazi.
  • The coordinator was responsible for gathering resources, the whole team, and the reward.
  • Five of the suspects arrested on Tuesday were linked to other murder cases.
  • Police have recovered four vehicles linked to the case, a firearm and cartilages linked to another crime scene.
  • The first vehicle, a Mercedes-Benz, was recovered on 6 March 2023.
  • The firearm used to kill Forbes and Motsoane was recovered 22 April 2023.
  • A BMW (which followed Forbes around Durban) was recovered on 2 August 2023.
  • A grey Hyundai i10 was recovered on 20 October 2023.
  • On 23 October 2023, the last vehicle, a Polo, was recovered.
  • The first suspect was arrested on 22 April 2023 for organising the firearms and vehicles.
  • The second suspect, a spotter, was arrested on 24 October 2023.
  • The third suspect, a shooter, was arrested on 14 December 2023.
  • Two suspects (a shooter and spotter) were arrested in eSwatini on 24 February 2024 after police found their hideout.
  • The sixth suspect (a coordinator) handed himself over to the police on 27 February 2024.
  • The seventh suspect was arrested in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday.

The developments in the investigation have been widely accepted, with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) saying the details surrounding the arrests highlight the “disturbing” reality of organised crime in South Africa, especially contract killings.

ALSO READ: ‘It took resources’: AKA murder was a ‘well-funded’ hit, says slain rapper’s dad

“This exposes the vulnerability of innocent lives and the need for urgent action to dismantle these criminal networks, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal.”

“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Forbes family during this difficult time. We hope these arrests bring them a semblance of peace and closure. However, justice is not fully served until all those involved are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

ALSO READ: AKA murder case: Seventh suspect arrested

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Bheki Cele Kiernan Jarryd Forbes (AKA)

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