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AKA-Tibz murder: State says it is tracking money in addition to R800k, more arrests expected

State prosecutor Lawrence Gcaba says investigators are looking into other funds besides the R800,000, which may lead to more arrests in the AKA murder case.

The R800,000 in question was deposited by Mfundo Gcaba into Mziwethemba Gwabeni’s bank account a day after rapper Kiernan ‘AKA’ Forbes was shot dead on Florida Road in Durban.

The money was “purely for business,” the Gcaba family said in a statement.

READ ALSO: AKA-Tibz murder: Two brothers’ stay in eSwatini extended after case postponed until May

Gwabeni, accused of masterminding the murder, has denied any involvement in AKA’s murder.

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

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

Also known as murder: ‘the state’s case is weak’

Final bail arguments were heard in the Durban high court on Friday. Lawyer Gcaba dismissed some of the arguments presented by the defense on Thursday.

The defense had argued that some of the charges against the defendants were duplicative. They said this only showed that the state’s case was “weak.”

ALSO READ: CCTV, mobile phone records link accused to AKA murder, state argues in bail case

However, lawyer Gcaba said that was not the case.

“There is evidence to support a number of charges at this stage of the process. The state may choose to file charges if the evidence supports them. That aspect has not been questioned,” Gcaba said.

“The challenge is the choice of the charges that one wants to present, which is not what this court has to determine. The court must determine whether there is prima facie evidence to support a charge.

“The defense’s claims that because there could be duplicate charges and the charges could not be proven by the evidence are without merit and must be dismissed.”

The defense also contested money laundering charges against Gwabeni. They said the transactions did not violate the Prevention of Organized Crime Act 121 of 1998 (Poca).

READ ALSO: AKA-Tibz murder case: Accused claims R800K funds were gifts and wedding payments

In response, lawyer Gcaba argued: “The allegations made by my colleague are a general approach to money laundering. If you delve deeper into the sections of Poca, you realize the differences between them.”

Shared possession of a firearm.

On its argument that “a court will not find a defendant guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm if the firearm is not recovered,” the state said it could argue for shared possession of the firearm since all of the accused were involved in the crime.

WATCH: State is delaying AKA murder case, defense says

“We have evidence of two firearms that were used. We have recovered one, we have not recovered the other. The second firearm, which killed the second deceased, and the person who was allegedly carrying that firearm does not have a license to possess that firearm,” Gcaba said.

“The second person who killed the first deceased, whose firearm was found in the possession of accused number three, does not have a license for that firearm. Neither did the person who allegedly shot him.

“Those will be the proven facts, which demonstrate that at that time those two firearms were not legally in possession.”

‘Agreement’

“An arrangement was made for people to go collect the ‘tools’ that would be used to kill the deceased. We have CCTV footage showing the firing of those two tools and as a result, the two victims died.

“The evidence shows that the tools were returned to the person who delivered them in the first place, so, in April, they were found in the possession of defendant number three.

READ ALSO: Rifles and cattle: Murder suspects’ bail applications reopened after ‘mistakes’

“We have evidence to show that he arranged for the firearm to be delivered to the co-accused and those in Swaziland, used in Wish and returned.

“Everyone knew ‘we will go to Umlazi to collect the firearms that we are going to use to kill the deceased because we have been hired to kill him.’ Therefore, the evidence provided proves joint possession.”

Also known as murder: “The State delays the procedures”

On the argument that the State was deliberately delaying the process, the State said that was not the case.

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

READ ALSO: AKA-Tibz murder: Durban businessman says allegation is baseless ‘conspiracy theory’

“We are still following the money, we are at an advanced stage which may lead to the arrest of certain people.

“During the state’s investigation, they did not find any evidence to support the payment of R800,000 to accused number four. We were told it was a commercial transaction.

“Now, someone said something during the bail application. Statements are being brought in from certain people who had not even been accused before. A matter is investigated all the way to the sentencing stage because things come up. To avoid delays in the process, the State took its time to investigate, and the amount of evidence and analysis demonstrates this.

“We did most of the investigation before making the arrest. “We didn’t sit back, we said there are some funds we need to pursue except the R800k.”

READ ALSO: R800,000 paid to defendant’s account in AKA trial was ‘purely for business purposes’: Gcaba family

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

The state said it wants to prosecute all defendants at the same time. However, he was prepared to proceed with the five already before the courts should there be delays in the extradition proceedings.

“We hope that our extradition request is attended to as soon as possible. If this matter goes to trial before the extradition matter is finalized, we will proceed with all five defendants. We will deal with those two when the time comes,” said lawyer Gcaba.

“We want to judge them immediately, but if the situation does not allow it, we will proceed with what we have. The case does not necessarily depend on the other two.

ALSO READ: CCTV, mobile phone records link accused to AKA murder, state argues in bail case

“We are of the opinion that it will not take more than six months.”

The state is expected to bring two eyewitnesses to the shooting. One of the witnesses will implicate a suspect who is not part of the group already in court.