A team of KwaZulu-Natal detectives is poring over hundreds of hours of video footage, interviewing scores of people, and trawling social media for any and every clue that could lead them to arresting the people behind the murders of rapper Kiernan “AKA” Forbes and his close friend, Tebello “Tibz” Motsoane.
Feb. 15, 2023
4 min read
Latest on police investigation in AKA murder
The slain SA rapper, Kiernan “AKA” Forbes
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KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, speaking on Newzroom Afrika, said detectives were in the process of tracing the movements of the hitmen backwards in an effort to identify the killers.
He believed AKA was the main target of the hit and his friend, Motsoane was struck during crossfire.
“Our strategy is to trace the incident from the shooting backwards. How those people got to the spot (of the crime scene), what was their communication and what were their movements.
“The investigation that we are rolling out and the strategy we are employing is that we are tracing it back .., from the shooting backwards, as to how those people get called to that spot from the first place and everything else that involves their communication, their movements, and so forth,” he said.
Mkhwanazi said detectives were going through a massive amount of data to piece together the events leading up to the shooting and after the shooting.
“We are still analysing quite a number of data that we collected, including video footage, cellphone data, communication, social media communications, as I'm sure it's public knowledge that one of the deceased was communicating all his movements prior to him going to the place so anyone who would have access to (those social media platforms) would have known exactly where he was going to be at any given time,” he said.
Mkhwanazi said there was no doubt in his mind AKA’s murder was a “contract killing”.
“From the police, from the evidence that you collected, we have no doubt. But from what we have seen as the police is two criminals that walk across the street there's one that walked past and stood on this side of the road, and another one walks around the car and shoots only AKA behind his ear. He did not shoot the friend that was with him. He only shot AKA. Double shots and they ran away,” he said.
Police believe Motsoane was killed by the bullets of the second shooter who was standing behind AKA and his group.
The second gunman fired a couple of shots in the direction that Motsoane was in, but had not necessarily meant to hit him.
“He was just shooting indiscriminately, it was not that Mr Motsoane was a target. Anyone standing in that line (of fire) could have been shot. The investigation, although I cannot reveal much about what we have and who we have identified, it's safe to say as we investigate our strategy would entail checking on every person that was in contact with the deceased prior to them coming to the venue and also when they were leaving the venue.
“But we don't end there. We also analysing the data in terms of any persons that that gathered [at the crime scene] after the shooting so that we can read the behaviour of all those that were at the crime scene,” Mkhwanazi said.
He said it was important to go through the footage of who was at the crime scene criminals often come back to the scene.
“It could it be that the organiser was among those that acted as spectators after that incident,” Mkhwanazi said.
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What the police do know, he added, was that AKA had an enemy that wanted him dead.
“Whether the enemy was a person that happened to be in that street at that time, or the enemy was somebody that was travelling with him from wherever he was coming to that area. Or the enemy is somebody with that he might have had a clash with in the past somewhere for reasons unknown to us. So we are trying to piece everything together so they were able to get answers. That's why it is unfair for us to say right now what could have been the reason (for the murders),” he said.
On the allegation AKA was told to stay away from KZN because of his former girlfriend’s death by suicide, Mkhwanazi said there were at present no links to why AKA was killed.
“However, our interest is to try and establish as to who could have wanted this man dead ... The incident in Cape Town may definitely have angered some people who blamed him for being the cause of such death that happened in Cape Town. So I have engaged with my colleagues in Cape Town to establish what happened to the case in Cape Town and the status thereof.
“I have been told that the case is lying with the State Prosecutors, as a decision has not necessarily been made. So we are looking at that case, we are (looking) at any beef that he might have had with whoever through social media that we know of or at public places and other conflicts that he might have had.
“Basically we are looking at his lifestyle, who were his friends and who was he in contact with, and who are the people that probably might have had a conflict with (him) that might have wanted him dead,” Mkhwanazi added. - IOL