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Hitmen were paid to target AKA – Police

The investigation into the killing of South African rapper Kiernan “AKA” Forbes and renowned chef Tibz (Tebello Mostoane) continues to develop, with the recent arrest of a seventh suspect on Wednesday, February 28, morning.

The suspect has been linked to the fatal shooting of AKA and his close friend, “Tibz”, on the popular Florida Road in Morningside, Durban, on February 10, 2023.

AKA shooting
CCTV of AKA’s last moments in Durban. PHOTO| POOL

Also read: CCTV footage of AKA’s shooting emerges

The South African Police Service (SAPS) has not yet released the identity of this latest individual, but he joins six other suspects, all aged below 36, who have been arrested.

At a late-night press conference at SAPS headquarters in Durban on Tuesday, Police Minister Bheki Cele announced on Tuesday, February 27, that the suspects will appear in court on Thursday, February 29.

However, Minister Cele, alongside KwaZulu-Natal provincial commissioner, Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi and National Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Fannie Masemola did not specify which court.

According to the police, hitmen were paid to target AKA. However, the motive for the attack is yet to be revealed by authorities.

The police stated that prior to the shooting, AKA and “Tibz” were walking towards their vehicle when they were approached by two individuals armed with firearms in Durban. These individuals crossed the street and discharged their weapons at close range.

The incident was captured on CCTV footage, which was subsequently published by local media and circulated widely on social media.

“It was clear that AKA was monitored from the airport, and Tibz was not the intended target in the murder on Florida Road in Durban,” said Lt Gen Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, the KwaZulu-Natal provincial police commissioner.

Also read: Be safe please! Nadia Nakai’s last words with AKA before he was shot

“These suspects played different roles during the operation. We have the coordinator, who is basically the master of everything. He is in custody.

“We have two shooters. We have two spotters. One of the spotters was inside the restaurant observing, watching Mr Forbes and his friends as well as the organiser of firearms and vehicles; because the vehicle was used as a getaway and firearms used to shoot, they were all hired.”

According to Lieutenant General Mkhwanazi, one individual allegedly tracked “AKA” from his arrival at the airport to his hotel and ultimately to the Wish on Florida restaurant.

This person is believed to have been responsible for assembling the group involved in the shooting and providing them with the necessary resources. They are also suspected of providing payment upon completion of the act.

Lieutenant Mkhwanazi further stated that some of the arrested individuals, whose names were withheld, are potentially linked to other murder cases.

Authorities have also recovered four vehicles, a firearm, and ammunition associated with both the AKA incident and another separate shooting. The first recovered vehicle, a Mercedes-Benz, was found on March 6th, 2023, while the firearm used in the AKA shooting was recovered on April 22, 2023.

Also read: He couldn’t get to a church! Nadia Nakai relives final moments of AKA

“On 23 June 2023, the team, after recovering the cartridges, linked them together and were able to confirm that that firearm was used in both murder scenes,” he added.

“A BMW was recovered on August 2, 2023. That’s the vehicle that was trailing Mr Forbes when he landed in KZN.”

AKA was a renowned South African hip-hop artist with a successful career spanning multiple albums and popular songs.