AKA murder accused says he was at Wish to meet a woman

In a dramatic turn of events, the lawyer representing Lindokuhle Ndimande, the fifth accused in the murder of rapper AKA, real name Kiernan Forbes, has made startling claims in his desperate bid to make bail.

The award-winning rapper was shot dead while outside Wish Restaurant, which was one of Durban’s popular entertainment and nightlife destinations in February last year.

AKA friend was not the intended target

The establishment, located on Florida Road, has since closed its doors. Forbes was killed together with his friend and celebrity chef, Tebello “Tibz” Motsoane. While Motsoane was at the wrong place at the wrong time, according to the state evidence, the contract murder was intended at Forbes.

The case adjourned last week following explosive evidence contained in the affidavit of investigating officer Kumarasen Pillay.  He told the court that Mfundo Gcaba had deposited close to a million rands for the hit. Mfundo is a sibling of the feared taxi industry operators in KwaZulu-Natal, the Gcaba brothers.

Accused was at restaurant to meet a woman

On Tuesday, advocate Simphiwe Mlotshwa, in his replying affidavit, attempted to poke holes in the evidence before magistrate Vincent Hlatshwayo. He said his client had been at Wish restaurant to meet an unidentified woman.

“I was at the Wish Restaurant to meet a woman who was a potential lover. After I waited for hours, she did not pitch, so I left. I know nothing about the shooting,” submitted Mlotshwa.

According to the state’s case, Ndimande was the spotter who had been stationed at the restaurant waiting for AKA’s arrival. He was to do this before notifying his accomplices. AKA is alleged to have been shot in the head, execution style. The hit was allegedly carried out by accused number one, Lindokuhle Mkhwanazi.

Wants investigator to be charged with perjury

Mlotshwa, who represents Mkhwanazi and Ndimande, also told the court that Pillay should also be charged with perjury. He said this is because he had misled the court. Mlotshwa said they intended to lay criminal charges against Pillay. They will do this at the police watchdog, the Independent Police Directorate (Ipid).

“I would like to state it on record that the affidavit presented to court by the investigating officer should be dismissed. Because it contains lies and fabrications. He is trying by all means possible to ensure that I do not be granted bail [sic],” said Mkhwanazi through his lawyer.

He also said that Pillay had relied on unsubstantiated information from police informants and used the information as gospel truth. Mlotshwa charged that it was his client’s view that Pillay should be charged for perjury. This on the grounds that he misled the court.

R100k payment was for traditional wedding gifts

Mkhwanazi also denied that the R100,000 deposited in his wife’s account a day after AKA’s assassination was his cut for killing AKA. He said it was meant for isipheko (gifts for a traditional ceremony).

This because he was getting married. The money was apparently paid by Muziwethemba Harvey Gwabeni. He is the alleged key mover in the assassination plot, who is accused number four.

Mkhwanazi, Ndimande, Gwabeni together with Eddie Myeza and Lindani Ndimande are charged with orchestrating the hit on AKA. Two other accused, the Ndimande brothers, are awaiting their extradition application in eSwatini.

The matter returns to court on April 8 for the defence to continue with its reply affidavits.

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