Mastermind was paid R800k only a few hours before AKA hit

Hours before rapper Kiernan “AKA” Forbes and his pal Tebello ‘Tibz” Motsoane were shot dead, someone deposited R800,000 into the account of the man police believe assembled the team of killers, and also paid them.

A police investigation established that R800,000 was deposited into businessman Mziwethemba Harvey Gwabeni’s First National Bank (FNB) account at about 2pm on February 10, 2023.

And on the same day, at about 6pm, telephone records at the police’s disposal also show that Gwabeni and the three brothers – Lindokuhle Mhlaliseni, Siyabonga Gezani and Melusi Dave Ndimande – as well as Thabani Mkhwanazi, who are all murder suspects, were around the businessman’s house.

Rapper followed in different cars

They allegedly followed the rapper, in different cars, to Wish Restaurant on florida road in Durban.

Gwabeni allegedly hired some of those vehicles from a local businessman running a car rental company.

All the hitmen were paid R133,000 each, allegedly by Gwabeni after Forbes and Motsoane were killed. This according to the NPA affidavit.  The affidavit was filed with the eSwatini government, and used to arrest two more suspects, in that country. 

The provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, said: “The NPA submitted it (the affidavit) through Interpol to request the authorities in Swaziland to help us catch these two. These two were arrested on (last) Saturday morning for other cases, including the Forbes case.”

Bank account opened on morning of the murder

The affidavit also suggests that one of the suspects, Lindokuhle Ndimande, didn’t even have a bank account. He opened a Standard Bank account the morning of the murder. And his share of R133,000 was deposited into his account the following day.

Ndimande, who was allegedly one of the spotters, followed the musician to Wish Restaurant. He went to cut his hair at the salon inside the establishment. And he paid his bill at the restaurant from the same account.

Forbes and Motsoane were killed by two gunmen as they walked out of the restaurant on February 10, 2023.


Police are pinning Gwabeni as the mastermind of the hit and the man who allegedly co-ordinated everything.

Gwabeni, according to the police, followed Forbes from King Shaka International Airport to the Hilton Hotel in his grey BMW.

The other suspects also came to hang around the hotel in a grey Polo that was allegedly hired by Gwabeni.

When Forbes left the hotel to go to the salon, he was also trailed. The five men appeared in the Durban magistrate’s court on Thursday. They include Eddie Myeza, the first suspect to be arrested on April 22 last year. They are facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder and unlawful possession of a firearm. Also charges of unlawful possession of ammunition, and five counts of attempted murder.

No word on who paid all the money

But nothing was said about the person who deposited the R800,000 for the hit.

The two Ndimande brothers are expected to be extradited from eSwatini soon.

Provincial police spokesman Colonel Robert Netshiunda couldn’t give a definitive answers on the source of the R800,000.

Warned not to set foot in Durban

Forbes was apparently warned not to set foot in Durban following the death of his fiancée, Anele “Nellie” Tembe. Tembe died from injuries sustained when she jumped from the 10th floor of the Pepperclub Hotel in Loop Street, Cape Town. The incident happened after a heated argument with the musician in 2021.

Her father, Moses Tembe, an influential businessman in KwaZulu-Natal, even barred Forbes from speaking at her funeral.

Many people expected Forbes to be charged with her murder, but the NPA failed to prosecute anyone.

Forbes was main target

General Mkhwanazi confirmed that Forbes had been the “main target” in the hit.

“From our investigation, it became clear that Mr Forbes was the main target. He is the one that was followed from the airport. He is the one that was followed at the hotel; he is the one that was spotted inside the restaurant. And the plan was not to shoot him in the manner that they did,” he said.

Mkhwanazi added that the hitmen initially wanted to shoot Forbes inside his vehicle. Howver,  “because he stood longer outside greeting his friend, those hitmen did not want to wait. That’s why they came for him”.

He explained that “it was by coincidence that he (Motsoane) was shot”. Mkhwanazi said they don’t yet know what the motive was for killing Forbes was.

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