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Compiled by Cornelia Le Roux

Digital Deputy News Editor

Anele Tembe latest: NPA to reopen case of AKA’s ex due to ‘crucial evidence’

The NPA has made a U-turn on its decision to not institute any prosecution for the death of former fiancée of slain rapper AKA, Anele Tembe.

The National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) decision to reinvestigate the death of Anele “Nellie” Tembe follows mere months after her former fiancé and award-winning rapper Kiernan “AKA” Forbes was  gunned down outside Wish restaurant, in Durban, on 10 February.

According to a Sunday World report, a new investigation will be opened into the death of the daughter of KwaZulu-Natal businessman Moses Tembe.

The 22-year-old Tembe fell to her death from the 10th floor of Cape Town’s Pepperclub Hotel in the early hours of 11 April 2021.

Nelli Tembe and AKA: Shock video footage emerges after death

Following her tragic death, several video clips emerged on social media, with one showing two men trying to calm down Nellie. The video sparked widespread accusations of gender-based violence (GBV) in their relationship, as she could be heard screaming “You don’t know what he’s been doing to me”.

One of the videos circulating on social media showed the rapper breaking down a door into the bedroom of the couple’s Bryanston apartment, where Tembe was said to be hiding.

AKA says Nellie had ‘mental issues’ in tell-all interview

In a tell-all interview with broadcaster Thembekile Mrototo for The Bar Leader TV on 21 May 2021, AKA opened up about their “tumultuous yet passionate relationship”, claiming Tembe suffered from mental issues.

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‘Elements of suspicion of a murder’

The Western Cape police stated in December 2021 that it has wrapped up what it labelled a “suicide investigation” into her death.

Western Cape police spokesperson Joseph Swartbooi, however, told City Press at the time that there were “elements of suspicion of a murder” and that the case was referred to the NPA for a decision.

After investigations, the NPA declined in June 2022 to institute any prosecution for Tembe’s death.

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Tembe family’s letter to NPA leads to new investigation

Sunday World alleges that the decision to reopen the case has been motivated by a letter to the NPA in which the Tembe family made representations suggesting the possibility of foul play in events that led to their daughter’s death.

The NPA received the letter two weeks after Western Cape director of public prosecutions Nicolette Bell announced in June the decision to not prosecute anyone.

In October 2022, the Tembes applied in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to access the docket which led to the NPA’s decision.

The Citizen reported that following the failure of the NPA to provide them with the docket, the family informed the NPA in a legal letter in January of their intention to take the prosecuting authority to the high court to have them release the contents of the docket. 

Letter claims ‘crucial evidence’ has been ignored

In February this year, City Press revealed the contents of the letter.

The letter claims that the NPA disregarded the following “crucial information” in its decision:

  • A statement from a witness named Rob Stefanatto who stated he heard an argument between a woman and a man coming from AKA’s hotel room. 
  • Before Nellie’s fall, the witness claimed “he overheard the woman desperately asking the attacker, a man, to leave her alone.”
  • AKA did not attend to his injured fiancée, who remained alive for approximately 20 minutes. Stefanatto administered CPR and called emergency services.
  • AKA “cleaned up the hotel room where blood was found on some towels.
  • The rapper “partied and drank at the hotel with his entourage following the passing of his fiancée”.
  • Nellie’s fingerprints were not found on the balustrade of the balcony, which would have indicated that she had climbed over the railing herself. 

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