Latest on the investigation of the murder of AKA

A team of detectives in KwaZulu-Natal are working tirelessly to solve the murders of rapper Kiernan “AKA” Forbes and his friend, Tebello “Tibz” Motsoane. The detectives are analyzing a vast amount of data including hundreds of hours of video footage, interviewing numerous people, and scouring social media for any clues that could lead to the arrest of the perpetrators.

The Provincial Police Commissioner, Lt-Gen Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, stated that the investigation strategy is to trace the movements of the hitmen back to identify the killers. The investigation involves analyzing the shooters’ communication and movements and identifying anyone who was in contact with the deceased prior to them going to the venue or leaving the venue.

The detectives are also looking at the footage of everyone who was at the crime scene to read the behaviour of all those present. Mkhwanazi believes that AKA’s murder was a “contract killing” and that AKA had an enemy who wanted him dead. The detectives are investigating who this enemy could be and any conflicts AKA may have had.

They are also looking at his lifestyle, who his friends were, and who he was in contact with to identify potential suspects.

Investigation Strategy

“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.

Contract killing

Mkhwanazi said there was no doubt in his mind AKA’s murder was a “contract killing”.

Read also: Three Khayelitsha girls stab men to death over alcohol

“From the police, from the evidence that we collected, we have no doubt. But from what we have seen as the police are 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. Our 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 analyse the data in terms of any persons 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.

Who wanted AKA dead?

“It could be that the hit organiser was among those that acted as spectators after that incident,” Mkhwanazi said.

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 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.

Girlfriend suicide and warnings

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.

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