Cop raid unlawful, says AKA accused

From left: AKA murder accused Lindokuhle Thabani Mkhwanazi,30, Lindani Zenzele Ndimande,35, Siyanda Eddie Myeza,21, and Mziwethemba Harvey Gwabeni,36. Picture: Anelisa Kubheka

From left: AKA murder accused Lindokuhle Thabani Mkhwanazi,30, Lindani Zenzele Ndimande,35, Siyanda Eddie Myeza,21, and Mziwethemba Harvey Gwabeni,36. Picture: Anelisa Kubheka

Published Apr 9, 2024


Durban — A businessman and an accused in the murder of South African rapper Kiernan “AKA” Forbes and friend Tebello “Tibz” Motsoane claimed that how the police gained entry to his home to arrest him was unlawful.

During the bail application on Monday in the Durban Magistrate’s Court, Mziwethemba Harvey Gwabeni, in his replying affidavit, told the court that the police gained entry forcibly.

Gwabeni is charged along with Lindokuhle Thabani Mkhwanazi, 30, Lindani Zenzele Ndimande, 35, Siyanda Eddie Myeza, 21, and Lindokuhle Lindo Ndimande, 29.

While they face 12 counts including two murders, conspiracy to commit murder, unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition, five attempted murders and money laundering, they are applying for bail.

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

When the bail application started the accused presented their case to the court and Gwabeni raised the issue of entry into his home for his arrest. He had not been home that night.

Following this, the State read into the record the affidavit of the investigating officer, Warrant Officer Kumarasan Pillay, which disputed that during the raid police broke into the accused’s home. It claimed entry was gained lawfully.

“What does this mean, that entry was gained in a lawful manner? He does not take the court into his confidence in describing exactly what occurred, which is that heavily armed policemen forcibly gained entry into my home and this was unnecessary,” said Gwabeni in his affidavit, read out by his counsel advocate Paul Jorgenson.

He attached video footage of the raid to his affidavit. In addition, he denies that the R800 000 paid into his business account by Mfundo Gcaba through his company was for the hit on the rapper.

“If the State honestly believes this and if it had any evidence, not conjecture, then I would have expected that Mfunda Gcaba would have been arrested and would have been a co-accused. The fact of the matter is that he is not a co-accused and the State has not taken this court into its confidence and disclosed why they have chosen not to arrest him.”

Gwabeni also attached a statement by the Gcaba family vehemently denying that Mfundo Gcaba was involved in any underhanded business dealing, adding that through his company Mfundo had paid for services rendered to the company belonging to one of the five accused.

The family said that Mfundo had ongoing business relations with Gwabs Mining, which belongs to Gwabeni.

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

It is also alleged that Gwabeni transferred over R100 000 into each of the accused’s bank accounts, including that of Siyabonga Gezani Ndimande and Malusi Dave Ndimande who are currently in custody in eSwatini awaiting extradition.

Furthermore, it is alleged the money was paid by a company, Bright Circle, into Gwabeni’s FNB account a day after the murder and investigations uncovered that Sydney Mfunda Gcaba was the sole director of Bright Circle and cellphone records showed that before the money was deposited Gwabeni made a call to a number linked to Gcaba.

“Just as the State has failed to tell this court what possible motive I could have in the killing of Forbes, the State can also not inform this court why Gcaba would want Forbes and companion killed. The reason for this is simple and that is that neither of us are contract killers or wished to see them dead.”

The State also alleges Gwabeni tailed AKA in a grey BMW from King Shaka Airport to the Hilton Hotel where he was staying.

“Had I been the driver of the grey BMW on the day and time in question, I would have expected the State to say categorically that they have video evidence of me driving the car and following Forbes,” said Gwabeni.

The State and defence are to file their written arguments in respect of bail this month and the matter is to sit again in May for argument before magistrate Vincent Hlatshwayo makes his ruling on bail.

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