TimesLIVE conducted an in-depth interview with a taxi owner from KwaZulu-Natal who is intimately familiar with the hitmen industry. In iSiZulu, assassins are known as izinkabi.
According to the investigation, hitmen charge as little as R10,000 for an ordinary person without a bodyguard and as much as R500,000 or a million rands for more dangerous people.
South African rapper AKA, real name Kiernan Forbes, was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen outside a restaurant on Florida Road in Durban on 10 February, along with his friend Tebello “Tibz” Motsoane. AKA was in Durban to perform at his birthday party.
The taxi boss revealed that three people most likely executed the AKA hit: “He was a popular musician who was always with people. You need someone to drive the getaway car. You need someone who will be where AKA is, giving you details about what he is doing. Then you need the hitman to pull the trigger.
“The more dangerous you are, the more costly the services. It can go all the way to R500,000 or even a million, depending on how dangerous the person is. Some assassinations are so complex they can take six months to execute. If you want to kill someone who has a lot of bodyguards, that hit cannot be done in just a few weeks.”
The hired killers need to get as much knowledge about their target as possible to lower the risk of getting killed, he told TimesLIVE.
The taxi boss added that the people who eliminated AKA and Tibz are experienced professionals because they only killed two people in a group of many.
He reiterated that the AKA assassins are likely known in KZN because the industry operates as a network. The network is ever-growing as young men are trained and hired in taxi wars, political rivalries, and even in dubious business deals, TimesLIVE reported.
Research by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime (GI-TOC) revealed that KZN has the most assassinations in South Africa, standing at 38 percent.
AKA is the third musician to be taken out since November 2022, after Oupa John Sefoka, known as DJ Sumbody and “President of Barcadi” Itumeleng “Vusi Ma R5” Mosoeu, who was shot dead last month.
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