R800k payment to AKA murder accused was 'purely for business purposes': Gcaba family

The Gcaba family in KwaZulu-Natal also wants Mfundo Gcaba, who deposited the money which was allegedly used to pay AKA's killers, to be given a chance to give his side of the story

31 March 2024 - 17:44
By Penwell Dlamini
Rapper AKA was shot dead on February 10 in the popular Florida Road in Durban. One of the men accused of killing him received R800,000 a day after his murder.
Image: Instagram/AKA Rapper AKA was shot dead on February 10 in the popular Florida Road in Durban. One of the men accused of killing him received R800,000 a day after his murder.

The Gcaba family says the money that was deposited into the bank account of one of the men accused of killing rapper Kiernan Forbes, commonly known as AKA, was “purely for business purposes” and had nothing to do with his murder.

In a statement issued on behalf of the family on Sunday, Mandla Gcaba said Mfundo Gcaba, who was named as the person who deposited the R800,000 into the bank account of businessman Mziwethemba Gwabeni, 36, a day after AKA was murdered was a successful businessman.

Gwabeni is one of the five accused who applied for bail this week in the Durban magistrate's court. They are charged with killing AKA and his friend, chef Tebello “Tibs” Motsoane, outside a restaurant on Florida Road in Durban in February last year.

“Mfundo is an adult and is a successful businessman involved in various sectors, including coal mining and the taxi industry. It is important to note that financial transactions between him and Mr Gwabeni were purely for business purposes. These numerous transactions over a long period of time can be verified through bank records and were neither unique nor isolated,” the family stated.

The family also raised concerns that “authorities have not yet approached Mfundo to share his side of the story”.

“We believe in the principle of fairness and the right to be heard, and we urge that this opportunity be extended to him at the earliest convenience. It is crucial to understand that Mfundo has assured the family that he has no connections to any illegal activities, nor does he has any motive to engage in such,” it said.

The Sunday Times reported that the notorious Gcaba brothers, who run a taxi empire in KwaZulu-Natal were expected to hold a family meeting to establish how it emerged in court this week that one of them deposited the payout for the hitmen who allegedly killed AKA. 

In an affidavit, the investigating officer W/O Kumarasan Pillay said Gwabeni's bank record revealed that a day after the murder, at about 2pm, he had received an amount of R803,455. 

The affidavit, read to the court by prosecutor Elvis Gcweka, also revealed that Gwabeni's cellphone records showed that before the money was deposited, a call was made by him to a number linked to Mfundo Gcaba. Pillay said that shortly after this call, the money was transferred into Gwabeni's bank account. 

Mandla Gcaba said his brother's business dealings were legitimate and he had “nothing to hide to anyone, least of all our law enforcement”. 

Mandla said since his brother's name was mentioned in court, there had been a lot of speculation in the public. 

“We wish to express our unwavering faith in the South African judiciary and affirm our commitment to co-operating fully with all arms of the state in the pursuit of justice. It is a message we wish to extend to many South African families who lose their loved ones through violent crime that has afflicted our society,” he stated.

He said they hoped for a swift resolution to this case, “allowing all affected families to find closure and healing. We appreciate the media's role in informing the public and we uphold the right to a free press.”