February 10, 2024, marks exactly one year since the award-winning South African rapper Kiernan Forbes, known as AKA, was gunned down in a suspected hit on Durban’s popular Florida Road.
Police have indicated that some of the rapper’s killers were already behind bars, while some were on the run as the men in blue continue with their meticulous prosecutor-driven investigation into the murder that shocked the nation last February.
AKA, who was also known as the SUPA MEGA, was shot dead at close range by gunmen as he left the Wish Restaurant, ahead of a scheduled performance at the Yugo night club. His long-time friend and former manager, Tebello ‘Tibz’ Motsoane, was also shot dead as the two had been embracing each other outside the restaurant before the shots were fired.
When AKA was gunned down, it had been his first trip to Durban since the death of his ex-fiance, Anele Tembe, who died in mysterious circumstances when she fell from the tenth floor of a Cape Town hotel.
Tembe’s death was believed to be death by suicide, but at her funeral in April 2021, her family, through her father Moses, said she was not suicidal, and neither had she died from suicide.
AKA’s dad, Tony, spoke out in a podcast this week and said publicly that he believed the relationship between Anele and AKA should not have happened. He said however, his son was not a murderer, and rejected suggestions he had pushed her off the balcony. He also revealed that the relationship between the Tembe’s and the Forbes had become strained.
A year on since AKA’s murder, no arrests have been officially made, although the Sunday Tribune reported in March last year, that police had arrested at least five suspects linked to the murder in Cape Town.
It is understood some of the suspects have been arrested and are behind bars on other charges, but, they have yet to be formally charged for the murder of AKA.
Early on Saturday, the South African Police Services (SAPS), issued a statement providing an update on the AKA murder investigation.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said over the past year, police had dedicated themselves in ensuring the case was solved.
“We would like to assure the affected families and the public that in the past year we have spent countless hours and endless manpower on tracing those behind these murders.
“We have a dedicated team of specialists, seasoned detectives, analysts, technicians working closely with the office of the Director of Public Prosections (DPP) in KwaZulu-Natal.”
Mathe said their approach in the murder was a prosecution driven investigation.
“We have gathered critical evidence. From what has been communicated.”
She said the police has made progress; they have positive evidence linking identified suspects.
“Others are in custody related to other matters. Others are on the run, and the team is hot on their heels.”
Mathe said they were aware of limited communication with the affected families.
“The investigation is at a very sensitive stage and we have therefore taken the decision to limit all communication related to this matter.
“The limited communication was not at all intended to undermine any of the affected families. We will however endeavour to improve on this in the near future,” said Mathe.
Earlier this week, leading up to his son’s one-year death anniversary AKA’s dad, Tony Forbes said he believed his son’s murder was a well-funded and planned assassination.
Tony, was speaking on the Within with Hazel podcast, hosted by Hazel Mahazard, said he definitely believed his son was assassinated.
He said while he couldn’t get into details about the investigation, he said his son’s killing was not random.
Forbes said he watched the video for his own closure and saw how the killers ensured the “job was done.”
He said while he knew there was a hit on his son’s life he was unclear about the motive.
In September KwaZulu-Natal’s provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, confirmed police made a breakthrough in the AKA murder investigation by recovering and confirming the firearm that was used to kill the rapper.
At the time Mkhwanazi alluded to the fact that the suspects may very well already be behind bars.
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