‘Watch this space’ – Bheki Cele says police ‘cracking’ AKA murder case
South Africans have started a petition demanding answers from the police.
Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi (L) and Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele at Westbury in Johannesburg,7 March 2023, during Imbizo after the recent violence and shootings in the area.The recent violence erupted after an alleged gang kingpin was killed last week. Picture: Nigel Sibanda
Almost a month since the brutal murder of rapper Kiernan ‘AKA’ Forbes, Police Minister Bheki Cele says there is progress in the investigation into the murder.
Cele was speaking to the media following the Ministerial imbizo on Fighting Crime and Gangsterism in Westbury on Tuesday, also attended by Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi and Joburg mayor Thapelo Amad.
Cele told the media that he received daily updates about the progress on the case, with the latest on Monday night.
“It’s a matter that we cannot let rest. Unfortunately we can’t be giving you the blow-by-blow of everything. But the progress is absolutely there,” said Cele.
“There are things I’m not supposed to say, but what I can say is we have collected a lot of cellphones that we’re working on, and trying to knot things together. That’s the last information I received yesterday [Monday] about 10pm on this matter. The progress is there.
“We acknowledge that it is not with the speed the community would have loved and the nation would have loved to see us reacting, but mark the space, we are cracking the case.”
No arrests have been made yet on the case.
AKA was shot dead outside a restaurant on Florida Road in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) on 10 February.
While the rapper was declared dead at the scene, his close friend, Tebello “Tibz” Motsoane, died later, despite attempts by paramedics to resuscitate him.
Police analysing evidence
During a media briefing on the release of the third quarter crime statistics last month, KZN police commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi said police were busy analysing evidence.
“We have interviewed a number of people both in KZN and as well as in Gauteng. We have obtained statements and we have collected cellphones. We have collected quite a number of videos from different CCTV cameras that we could find that will assist us,” he said.
“We have received our ballistic report from forensic that has been completed so there’s quite a lot of other work that the team is still busy with. The viewing of the videos and the analysis of the material that is there is still continuing.”
The provincial commissioner also confirmed that the suspects behind the murders might be known to the police.
“The identification of those that were seen in the videos that you have seen on social media is something that we cannot disclose now, but we’ve got an idea as to who those people might be.”
Justice for AKA
Meanwhile, South Africans have started a petition demanding answers from Mkhwanazi.
“I am starting this petition in the hopes that there are more South Africans, who are tired of unsolved murders; tired of living in a murder capital, where the police work hand in hand with the criminals,” reads part of the description.
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“We need answers from you Lieutenant General Mkhwanazi. We need updates. We refuse to forget. We refuse to move on.”
At the time of publishing, the petition had garnered almost 8,000 signatures.
Additional reporting by Molefe Seeletsa