State Says It’s Tracing Money Other Than R800k In AKA-Tibz Murder Case

“Everybody knew ‘we’re going to Umlazi to collect the firearms that we are going to use to kill the deceased because we have been contracted to kill him’. So the evidence provided proves joint possession.”

State Says It’s Tracing Money Other Than R800k In AKA-Tibz Murder Case - The Times Post
State Says It’s Tracing Money Other Than R800k In AKA-Tibz Murder Case.

In the ongoing investigation into the murder of rapper Kiernan ‘AKA’ Forbes, state prosecutor Advocate Lawrence Gcaba has revealed that investigators are following up on money trails other than the reported R800,000 deposit. This development may potentially lead to more arrests in the case.

The R800,000 in question was deposited by Mfundo Gcaba into the bank account of Mziwethemba Gwabeni, a day after AKA was shot dead on Florida Road in Durban. The Gcaba family has stated that the money was purely for business purposes.

Gwabeni, who has been accused of being the mastermind behind the murder, has vehemently denied any involvement in AKA’s killing.

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In February of last year, five individuals – Lindokuhle Thabani Mkhwanazi, Siyanda Eddie Myeza, Lindani Ndimande, Mziwethemba Gwabeni, and Lindokuhle Ndimande – were arrested in connection with the murder.

Two additional suspects, Siyabonga and Malusi Ndimande, are currently in the process of being extradited from Eswatini.

Recently, closing arguments for bail were heard in the High Court in Durban. The defence raised several challenges to the state’s case, including the claim that some of the charges against the accused were duplicated. They argued that this indicated a weak case on the part of the state.

However, Advocate Gcaba dismissed these arguments, stating that there is evidence supporting multiple charges at this stage of the proceedings. He clarified that the state has the option to add or modify charges based on the evidence presented.

Regarding the defence’s challenge to the money-laundering charges against Gwabeni, Advocate Gcaba argued that a deeper examination of the sections of the Prevention of Organized Crime Act 121 of 1998 (POCA) reveals the validity of the charges.

He emphasized that the defence’s general approach to money laundering does not consider the specific provisions outlined in POCA. The court will now determine if there is prima facie evidence to support the charges brought against the accused.

The state contended that since all of the accused were involved in the crime, it could be argued for shared possession of the handgun in support of their claim that “a court will not find an accused guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm if the firearm is not recovered.”

“We have evidence of two firearms that were used. We have recovered one, but we have not recovered the other. The second firearm, which killed the second deceased, and the person alleged to be carrying that firearm doesn’t have a license to possess that firearm,” said Gcaba.

“The second person who killed the first deceased, whose firearm was found in accused number three’s possession, does not have a license for that firearm. Neither does the person alleged to have fired the shot.

“Those will be the proven facts, which show that at that time, those two firearms were not lawfully possessed.”

“There was an arrangement made for people to go and collect the ‘tools’ to be used to kill the deceased. We have CCTV footage showing those two tools being fired, and the two victims died as a result.

“The evidence shows the tools were brought back to the person who gave out the tools in the first place, hence, in April, it was found in possession of accused number three.

“We have evidence that proves he made arrangements for the firearm to be given to the co-accused and those who are in Swaziland, used at Wish and brought back.

“Everybody knew ‘we’re going to Umlazi to collect the firearms that we are going to use to kill the deceased because we have been contracted to kill him’. So the evidence provided proves joint possession.”

On the argument that the state was deliberately delaying the proceedings, the state said it wasn’t the case.

“We took time to investigate this matter, up to a point where when the matter was at an advanced stage of the investigations, we took a decision to arrest. Naturally, when person is arrested, certain evidence comes up during the bail applications,” explained Gcaba.

“We’re still following the money, we’re at an advanced stage, that may lead to arrests of certain people.

“During the state’s investigation, they did not find any evidence supporting the payment of R800k to accused number four. We were told it was a business transaction.

“Now, somebody said something during the bail application. Statements are being brought in from certain people who were not even accused before. A matter is investigated up to the judgment stage because things do crop up. To avoid delaying proceedings, the state took its time to investigate, and the amount of evidence and analysis shows that.

“We did most of the investigation before doing the arrest. We didn’t fold our arms, we said there’s some monies that we need to follow, except the R800k.”

Gcaba said it would take the state about four to five months to finish the investigations.

The state said that it wishes to put all the accused on trial at the same time. However, it was willing to proceed with the five already in court should there be delays in the extradition processes.

“We do wish for our extradition request to be attended to as soon as possible. If this matter is set down for trial before the extradition matter is finalised, we’ll proceed with the five accused. We will deal with those two when the time comes,” said Advocate Gcaba.

“We want to trial them at once, but if the situation doesn’t permit, we’ll proceed with those that we have. The case does not necessarily depend on the other two.

“We are of the view that it will not take longer than six months.”

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