AKA murder accused claims cops broke into home to arrest him

Businessman Mziwethemba Harvey Gwabeni had his bail affidavit read out in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday. He is one of five accused of killing rapper AKA. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/ Independent Newspapers
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Durban — An accused in the murders of South African rapper Kiernan “AKA” Forbes and his friend Tebello “Tibz” Motsoane claimed that police unlawfully gained access into his home to arrest him and allegedly assaulted his first wife.

Accused businessman Mziwethemba Harvey Gwabeni, 36, made this claim in his affidavit on Tuesday where he said he was not home at the time when a large number of policemen, mostly from the National Intervention Unit (NIU), raided his Cowie’s Hill home on February 27.

Gwabeni, a DUT information technology graduate with two wives, said that at the time he had been in Ladysmith on a business trip, having left the day before.

“I am informed by my first wife that police officers got into my residence by unlawful means, in that my family were awakened by a group of police officers in their respective rooms. It is unclear how they got into the property. It is my assertion that the police used means unknown to us to gain access to the property.

“I managed to make contact with my attorney, Sizwe Cele, and informed him that the police were at my residence and that my wife had been assaulted.

“I am advised that she had since laid a charge against the police officers, and it is currently being investigated by the Ipid,” said Gwabeni.

He and his co-accused Lindokuhle Thabani Mkhwanazi, 30, Lindani Zenzele Ndimande, 35, Siyanda Eddie Myeza, 21, and Lindokuhle Lindo Ndimande, 29, face 12 counts, including two of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition, five attempted murder counts, and a money laundering charge.

It is alleged that Gwabs Miningi in Mpumalanga, owned by accused Gwabeni, received an amount of R803 455 on the pretext that it was for the services of consulting when in fact it had been for AKA’s murder.

The attempted murders they are charged with are in relation to other people who had been around AKA on Florida Road at the time of his assassination.

AKA was brazenly gunned down last year along with his friend Motsoane on Durban’s Florida Road.

“The State’s case, certainly against me, is founded wholly on circumstantial evidence and manufactured coincidence … The basis upon which the State bases its case is premised on a self-created conspiracy theory regarding the sequence of events that led to the killing of the deceased. It is paramount for me to highlight that it has taken the South African Police Services more than a year to investigate this matter and my position has not changed.”

He also claimed that the R803 000 was paid to him by a reputable company, whom he had done business with before.

“In fact, our business relationship goes back as early as three years back.”

The matter was adjourned to March 27 for the State to present its evidence in the bail application.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the Department of Justice and Correctional Services confirmed that Minister Ronald Lamola has approved and transmitted a request by South Africa for the extradition of Siyabonga Gezani Ndimande and Malusi Dave Ndimande from the Kingdom of eSwatini to South Africa.

Outside the Durban Magistrate’s Court weighing in on this, legal expert Abigail Ngobeni said this was the initial stage of the process, something that everyone has been waiting for – for the South African government to file an application for the two to be extradited.

“This is the point when the defence counsel in eSwatini will take instructions from their clients and come to court on whether or not they want to oppose.

“Some of the things that the court will be looking at in this application is whether the accused persons will be safe, will be afforded a fair trial, that they will be tried for the offences they will be extradited for.” – IOL