/ 27 February 2024

Elaborate assassination plot revealed as six arrested for AKA murder

Aka 3
Rapper Kiernan Jarryd Forbes, popularly known as AKA, was murdered in Durban in February 2023. Photo: Supplied

Kiernan “AKA” Forbes was followed from his airport landing hours before his 10 February 2023 killing as part of an elaborate assassination plot hatched by six arrested suspects, police revealed late on Tuesday. 

KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi announced that one more suspect would be arrested for the murder of AKA, who was shot with his friend and business partner Tebello“Tibz” Motsoane outside a Florida Road, Durban, restaurant in an alleged hit. Forbes was the main target, said the commissioner.

Mkhwanazi also said police had worked together with the National Prosecuting Authority to ensure the case was court ready.

He said police “suspected” the motive for the hit, but it was not yet clear. The six suspects are scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

Mkhwanazi said those arrested included the hit “coordinator”, the two suspected gunmen — two “spotters” who were part of the lookout, one of whom was watching AKA from inside the restaurant, as well as the firearms and getaway vehicles “organiser”. 

“The spotter initially followed Mr Forbes from the airport on arrival…to the hotel, as well as the restaurant where the incident happened,” Mkhwanazi said. 

“This person [who followed AKA] was also responsible for hiring [and] gathering resources together, the whole team together, as well as the rewards that came thereafter when the people had done their jobs — that payments that were done.” 

The provincial top cop added that the five other accused — including the other spotter, the vehicle and arms organiser, and the gunmen — were linked to a slew of other murder cases.

Four vehicles — including a BMW that followed AKA around Durban — and the alleged murder weapon are part of the evidence Mkhwanazi said the police gathered. 

Four suspects were in Durban, two in Eswatini after being arrested in their alleged hideout, while Mkhwanazi said the seventh is on the run following media reports from the landlocked country that arrests were made, which spooked the alleged killer. 

Police Minister Bheki Cele said the oldest suspect was 36, and that all of the suspects had been paid for their part in the crime, adding that payment “wasn’t much”.

Cele congratulated the team that caught the alleged killers, saying cops “did not sleep for 48 hours to get the final people” after arresting the first person in April last year.