Six suspects arrested for South African rapper’s killing

Six suspects have been arrested in connection with the murders of well-known South African rapper Kiernan Forbes, popularly known as AKA, and his close friend the celebrity chef and entrepreneur Tebello ‘Tibz’ Motshoane.
The two were gunned down outside a restaurant in Durban a year ago, in a killing that shocked South Africans.
The South African police said hitmen were paid to target AKA, but no motive was revealed.
In his career, he had a string of hits, including with Nigeria’s Burna Boy.
The suspects, all aged below 36, are due to appear in court on Thursday.
“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,” lieutenant general Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, the KwaZulu-Natal provincial police commissioner, said in a press briefing on Tuesday night.
“We know they were paid for this,” Mkwananzi added.
He said the six accused men played different roles in the plot to kill AKA on 10 February last year.
The suspects who are behind bars include two gunmen who fired several rounds at the victims, two spotters who followed AKA from Durban’s airport, someone who sourced the firearms which were used in the ambush, as well as the mastermind.
Some of the suspects are also linked to other murder cases which are unrelated to these killings.
Two of the men were found in a hideout in neighbouring Eswatini following a raid that was carried out by Interpol at the weekend.
They appeared in a magistrate’s court in Eswatini on Tuesday. Plans are under way to extradite the duo to face murder charges in South Africa.
Mkhwanazi said local media reports around the arrest may have tipped off a seventh suspect, who is still on the run.
Exhibits recovered during the arrests include four vehicles, firearms linked to the the murders of AKA and Motshoane and empty cartridges.
Police minister Bheki Cele acknowledged that the killings of AKA and his friend, which were caught on CCTV cameras, disturbed many people in the country, which has one of the highest murder rates in the world.
“I hope South Africans will sleep better after this,” he said.
AKA began his musical career as part of the rap group Entity before he launched his solo career, winning several awards in South Africa for his music.
He was also celebrated internationally, with several nominations for awards from Black Entertainment Television (BET) and MTV Europe. He received a posthumous honour at the BET Hip Hop Awards last year. – BBC

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