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Police manhunt under way after killers shot AKA at close range and fled on foot


  • Popular rapper AKA and another man were gunned down in a drive-by shooting in Durban’s Florida Road.
  • The musician was supposed to perform at a Durban night club later that night. 
  • Police are investigating two counts of murder and are on the hunt for the perpetrators, who fled the scene on foot.

Florida Road – the heart of Durban’s nightlife – is usually bustling with activity on a Friday night as partygoers and revellers start the weekend. But this Friday was different.

Outside popular eatery Wish on Florida, an upmarket European-inspired restaurant, lay the body of well-known rapper, Kiernan “AKA” Forbes. Inside, another man lay dead.

Police said the second man was his 34-year-old bodyguard, but according to celebrity tributes, the second man was his former manager, Tebello “Tibz” Motsoane.

News24 understands that the Fela in Versace hitmaker was in the area after receiving a haircut in the same road earlier in the day, when he and the other man were killed in a drive-by shooting. The incident occurred two weeks after he celebrated his 35th birthday.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Robert Netshiunda said no other casualties had been reported.

A manhunt for the attackers is under way.

According to Netshiunda, Forbes and a bodyguard were walking towards their vehicle from a restaurant when they were allegedly approached by two armed suspects who walked to them from across the street and shot them at close range.

Netshiunda added:

The suspects are reported to have fled from the scene on foot. We will be investigating two counts of murder with hopes of finding the culprits.

ALS Paramedics Medical Services spokesperson Garrith Jamieson said paramedics responded to multiple requests for assistance at the scene.

On arrival, “paramedics were met with total chaos” to find that two men had been shot multiple times.

“The first male showed no signs of life and there was nothing more paramedics could do for him, and he was declared deceased on the scene. The second male was found in a critical condition. Advanced Life Support paramedics worked to stabilise the man on the scene, however the man’s condition deteriorated and he was declared deceased on the scene.

“It is believed that one of the deceased was a well-known rapper, however SAPS will confirm and provide a statement for all media houses,” he said.

When News24 arrived in Florida Road just before midnight, it was like a scene from a movie.

READ | AKA mourned by EFF, DA and more: ‘The music industry has lost an innovative artist’

The area had been cordoned off, paramedics, police vehicles and officers were everywhere, shocked partygoers stood around as they tried to transpire what had happened and forensics officials took hours to process the bodies. 

The popular musician from Cape Town was supposed to perform at a night club in Durban, but came under attack about two hours before midnight.

Earlier, he was seen posing for pictures during what appeared to be a highly spirited gathering at another party spot in Durban. 

Images posted on Instagram showed jovial scenes as the rapper toasted at a table full of friends.

Following the news of his passing, Forbes’ fellow musicians and fans took to various social media platforms to express their shock.

Rest my brother.. this hurts. Thinking about your beautiful daughter and loved ones in general. Thank you for the good times and laughs.. I always enjoyed working with you ???? #RIPAKA”, musician Nandi Madida said.

Another musician, Lady Zamar posted: “the numbing shock upon hearing that aka has passed away????there are no words to express the sorrow of such an untimely death?? my deepest condolences go out to his family, nadia, his friends, the megacy and most of all to kairo????he will be sorely missed. #ripaka ?? [sic].

Anyone who has information which can assist in the investigation and lead to the arrest of the perpetrators can contact the nearest police station or Crime Stop on 08600 10111. Alternatively, tip-offs can be sent via the My SAPS app.

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