AKA timeline: Everything you need to know about the murder, arrests and everything in between

Kiernan ‘AKA’ Forbes. Picture: File image

Kiernan ‘AKA’ Forbes. Picture: File image

Published Feb 28, 2024


After months and months of speculation, police revealed this week that six people have been arrested in connection with the killing of Kiernan ‘AKA’ Forbes and his friend Tibz, real name, Tebello Motsoane.

The breakthrough helps put to bed accusations that it was a cold-case.

Kiernan ‘AKA’ Forbes and his friend Tibz, real name, Tebello Motsoane. File Picture

Late on Tuesday night, police held a media briefing where they uncovered in detail how they spend months tracking suspects, vehicles and firearms.

They revealed that they were not prepared to release information at every turn in fear of jeopardising the investigation in the long-run.

KZN provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi briefs the media about the AKA murder, announcing six suspects have been arrested. Picture: Viasen Soobramoney / IOL

On Thursday, for the first time since Forbes and Motsoane were gunned down in cold-blood on Florida Road, on February 10, 2023, suspects will be officially charged with their murder.

But police have revealed that these suspects are not new to murder.

They are allegedly linked and detained on other murder cases in the province.

Here is a timeline of events from the two murders to the arrest to date:

February 2023

February 10, 2023: Kiernan ‘AKA’ Forbes and his friend Tibz, real name, Tebello Motsoane were gunned down on Florida Road, Durban while embracing each other outside Wish Restaurant.

Florida Road, Durban where Kiernan ‘AKA’ Forbes and his friend Tibz, real name, Tebello Motsoane were killed. Picture: Tumi Pakkies / Independent Newspapers

February 17 - A memorial service was held for Forbes in Gauteng.

– The family of Anele ‘Nellie’ Tembe sent a letter to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) alleging that it was Forbes who pushed their daughter off the balcony, following the Director of Public Prosecutions’ decision not to prosecute anyone for her death. Tembe fell from the balcony at the Pepper Club hotel in Cape Town in April 2021.

A memorial service is held for fallen SA rapper Kiernan AKA Forbes at the Sandton Convention Centre. Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers

– Allegations emerged that the hitmen was allegedly paid R250,000 to carry out the hit on AKA.

– Days after the funeral, there was speculation that Forbes’ tombstone had been stolen, however, Authentic Stones operations manager Josh Kenp confirmed to The Citizen that the tombstone was not stolen, but taken back by the stone mason because it could not be installed on the same day as the burial.

A memorial service is held for fallen SA rapper Kiernan AKA Forbes at the Sandton Convention Centre. Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers

– Two weeks after the murder, police said they were confident they would find the killers.

– On February 24, Mass Country, the fourth studio album by South African rapper AKA was released posthumously by Sony Music Entertainment Africa.

March 2023

– South Africans began putting the heat on police, with #JusticeforAKA trending and fans signing a petition.

– Police Minister Bheki Cele addressed the nation, saying they were confident of finding the killers.

Police Minister Bheki Cele talks about the AKA murder investigation after six men were arrested in connection with the killing of the rapper. Picture: Viasen Soobramoney / IOL

AKA’s bodyguard Anwar "Dogg" Khan revealed that AKA's security was breached when he was taken to Wish Restaurant in Florida Road.

Khan was speaking to Annika Larsen on “My Guest Tonight” where he said their protocols were not followed that evening.

– At the end of March, police arrested four people at a shopping centre in Belhar in Cape Town, allegedly in connection with the murder.

Three were subsequently released and one appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court. However, it was later revealed that the suspect was not linked at the time to the murders and was charged with robbery with aggravating circumstances.

April 2023

Wish on Florida Road, in Durban announces its closing following the brutal murders. The establishment cited a severe down-turn in business.

Benny Marverick, who is Wish restaurant co-owner and AKA'S father Tony Forbes walk out of Wish restaurant to place flowers at the scene. File Picture: Tumi Pakkies/ Independent Newspapers

– AKA’s mother Lynne Forbes tells the media that she misses her son was being patient with police in their investigation.

May 2023

– Megacy wins big at the Metro FM Music Awards 2023, scooping four awards.

– Police slam media for reporting that a firearm found in Durban was linked to the murder of AKA. IOL reported that a source close to the investigation revealed that a gun was found in uMlazi, a development police cited as unsubstantiated rumours and malicious allegations.

August 2023

– IOL reported that KwaZulu-Natal police had identified AKA's killers and are now honing in on the mastermind.

The men arrested in Belhar in Cape Town. File Picture: Armand Hough / Independent Newspapers

KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner Nhanhla Mkhwanazi said a crack team of investigators were building a solid case before they make arrests. He said that the list of suspects also continued to grow and some of them were in jail for other crimes.

September 2023

The weapon allegedly used to kill Forbes was seized.

Tony Forbes speaks seven months after his son’s death.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said that while the net was closing in on the killers, he urged people to give police time to thoroughly investigate the case.

January 2024

– AKA’s daughter Kairo begins Grade 3, his family remember him ahead of his 36th birthday.

February 2024

The Forbes family announces the AKA Foundation in his honour.

Also, a year after his son’s death, Tony Forbes said he believed AKA’s murder was a well-funded and planned assassination.

He said all the evidence points to a hit on his son’s life, although the motive for the shooting was still unknown.

Police announce the arrest of five suspects linked to the murders. The announcement was made by the police brass including Cele, National Police Commissioner General Fannie Masemola and KwaZulu-Natal provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi at the SA Police Services provincial headquarters in Durban. Two men linked to the murders were also arrested in Eswatini.

The five accused men in SA, appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court. They are Lindokuhle Thabani Mkhwanazi, 30; Lindani Ndimande, 30; Eddie Myeza, 22; Mziwethemba Harvey Gwabeni, 36; and Lindokuhle Ndimande, 29.

March 5

Brothers arrested in Eswatini, Siyabonga and Malusi Ndimande, appeared in the Manzini Magistrate’s Court. Their matter was remanded.

March 6

The remaining five suspects in SA, appeared in court and the matter was remanded for a formal bail application.