The Untold story of South Africa’s Rising Black Market for Hitmen | The African Exponent.
- South African Police still investigation the murder of Kiernan Forbes and ceased phones have provided information.
- S.A Police Minister Bheki Cele under fire from the citizens who want answers for increasing criminal activity.
- According to latest annual report, 20.47% of murder cases are resolved.
The price of eliminating someone in South Africa is between 130 and 8,000 euros. What makes the difference? The nature of the target, an unbearable husband will cost less than a local councillor. And the qualifications of the hitman.
No one knows yet how much was cashed in for AKA’s murder. Kiernan Forbes, 35, a South African legendary rap star, was killed in mid-February on a pavement outside a Durban restaurant as he left a dinner party with friends. The case shocked the country, which is now used routine violence and unresolved murder cases.
Crime is a daily occurrence in South Africa. According to the latest police statistics, at least 82 murders are committed every day and investigations are rarely solved. The Southern African country stands out as one of the most dangerous in the world.
In CCTV footage widely shared on the internet, the scene lasts 19 seconds. A man crosses the road. In the last few metres, he runs towards the happy little group and shoots the rapper at close range. Another man opens fire at the same time. The two assailants disappear into the thick of the night.
AKA dies on the spot. His friend Tebello Motsoane affectionately known as “Tibz”, 41, is also shot dead.
As has been with earlier killings, the police say they are working on several leads. Seized phones have provided information; no arrests have been made yet. But the initial findings of investigators pointing to an assassination have rekindled concern about the phenomenon of hitmen in South Africa.
Sordid schemes to collect life insurance money, political battles resolved by the murder of a troublesome rival, the assassination of a scrupulous civil servant alerting to irregularities in accounts… Murder for hire is common.
However, “few cases involving contract killers end up in court (…) And if there is a risk of it happening, the contract killers often get themselves eliminated,” Mary de Haas, an academic specialising in political violence in the Zulu region (east), which is particularly affected by the phenomenon, explained to AFP.
It seems easy enough to make someone disappear in South Africa,” she said.
Henchmen are paid between €130 and nearly €8,000, according to a study published in 2021 by the Swiss think tank Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC), which compiled data on commissioned murders over four years.
In Cape Town, a municipal worker was recently shot dead in her car. She was entering the construction site of a large housing project worth more than 25 million euros. According to a source in the city council, attempts at intimidation and extortion had been made against employees at the site shortly before the alleged murder.
The city, held by the country’s largest opposition party (DA), has offered a reward of more than 5,000 euros for information. Determined to carry out its own investigation, the city council criticises the police for periodically repeating the gloomy litany of ever-increasing crime figures.
Wearing his trademark black Borsalino, Police Minister Bheki Cele, who is under fire, presents the latest statistics every quarter at a curious live broadcast.
It is “more of a history lesson highlighting the shortcomings of policing, than a tool” against criminals, criticizes the mayor.
The police “continue to arrest hired killers and those who order the killings”, Cele said.
Only two out of ten murder cases (20.74%) are solved, according to the latest annual police report.
One question that always boggles the mind of an average South African citizen is that; “If a celebrity murder can be swept under the carpet, what then can happen to murders of ordinary citizens?”