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R800k for AKA’s hit? Police confirms arrest of seven suspects

The South African Police Service (SAPS) confirmed the arrest of seven suspect in the murder case of rapper AKA and renowned chef Tebello 'Tibz' Motsoane; all the seven played different roles, from spotters to shooters to organisers of firearms, getaway cars, and the master coodinator of the alleged R800 000 hit.

The SAPS have made significant headway in the investigation of the tragic murder of renowned South African rapper Kiernan ‘AKA’ Forbes and celebrity chef Tebello ‘Tibz’ Motsoane, with a total of six arrested suspects now expected to appear in court on Thursday (February 29), with another suspect arrested this morning (Wednesday), bringing the total arrests to seven.

AKA and Tibz were shot and killed outside Wish restaurant in Durban more than a year ago. Four of the six suspects – comprising a coodinator, who is believed to be “the master of everything”, as well as two shooters, three spotters and the organiser of firearms and getaway vehicles – have parallel cases that the police are currently investigating.

According to KwaZulu-Natal Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, police investigations have revealed that AKA was the main target in the meticulously planned operation. “From our own investigation, it became clear that Mr Forbes was the main target. He’s the the one that was followed from the airport, he was followed to the hotel, he’s the one that was spotted inside the restaurant and the plan was not to shoot him the manner they did.”

He added: “They were going to shoot him in the vehicle. But because he stood longer outside, greetings his friend, and those hitmen did not want to wait. That’s why they came for him. So the second victim was by coincidence that he was shot. I’m sure you realised that the second shooter was quite a distance away from him when he got shot.”

Giving a full disclore on the meticulous manner in which the hit was planned, Lt-Gen Mkhwanazi said the six suspects played different roles during the operation. “We have the coodinator who’s basically the master of everything, he’s in custody. We have two shooters that you saw on social media, we have two spotters (one was inside the restaurant observing, watching Mr Forbes and his friends), as well as the organisers of firearms and vehicles; the (four) vehicles used as getaways, firearms used were all hired. The spotters initially followed Mr Forbes from the airport on arrival, all the way to the hotel, as well as to the restaurant where the incident happened.”

The news of the arrest comes days after a weekend exposĂ© by the Times of Eswatini, which claims an amount of R800 000 was paid and shared among the alleged killers. (The SAPS said – during an impromptu press briefing Tuesday night – they know how much each of the suspects were paid for the killing, but they won’t divulge).

However, two of the suspects who fled to the Kingdom of eSwatini after learning that the South African police were hot on their heels, were arrested at the weekend. The two are in the process of being extradited to South Africa ahead of their court appearance on Monday.

Tankiso Komane
Tankiso Komane
A Tshwane University of Technology journalism graduate, Tankiso Komane has a vast experience in print & broadcast media business and has worked for some of the country’s biggest daily newspapers, including The Sowetan, The Citizen, The Times, and The New Age. Through her varied work as a journalist, notably as a copywriter for SABC1 (On-Air promotions) and as a publicist for Onyx Communications, she has developed an in-depth understanding of the nature of the media business and how to use it for the purpose of exposure. Her expertise in journalism across various disciplines, coupled with a good reputation, has laid the foundation of a new kind "trust in Journalism" as the media ecosystem continues to digitally evolve.
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