Events

Rapper AKA gives his version of events leading up to death of fiancé Anele Tembe


Rapper Kiernan Forbes in a sit-don interview with Bar Leader TV.


Rapper Kiernan Forbes in a sit-don interview with Bar Leader TV.

  • Rapper Kiernan “AKA” Forbes says he and his late fiancé Anele Tembe had an argument in the hours before she fell to her death from the Pepperclub Hotel balcony in Cape Town.
  • Forbes denied abusing Tembe, whom he said had tried to take her own life before.
  • He said he left the room and went into the bathroom after Tembe threatened to kill herself, and when he returned, Tembe wasn’t there anymore.

Rapper Kiernan Forbes, professionally known as AKA, has for the first time spoken publicly about his version of the last hours of his late fiancé Anele “Nelli” Tembe’s life, marred by arguing and threats of suicide before she died.

Forbes spoke to television anchor Thembi Mrototo in a sit-down interview produced by Bar Leader TV. Tembe fell to her death from the 10th floor of Cape Town Pepperclub Hotel in the early hours of 11 April. She was 22 years old. 

Forbes gave his version of the events, saying he had a gig in Cape Town that fateful weekend and had travelled with Tembe, as they had done before.

READ | 7 shocking claims AKA made in his tell-all interview

The couple had lunch with friends and did shopping ahead of his gig the night before she died. There had been problems in the relationship which resulted in arguments during the previous week, he said. 

“We had disagreements, and in Cape Town we took it upon ourselves to talk, that there’s no one around… it’s a change of scenery, let’s talk about our relationship. We had just become husband and wife and had just paid lobola two weeks prior.”

Exact details ‘blurry’

READ | AKA sits down for first interview since Anele Tembe’s death

The talk in their room at the Pepperclub Hotel ended in an argument which continued into the early hours of the morning, Forbes said, and he decided to book himself into a separate room.

“I told myself it would be best if I remove myself from the situation, and I gathered my belongings and booked myself into another room, hoping things would calm down. It got worse, she took off her ring and threw it at me. I came back to the room because I had taken her phone. Things took a turn for the worse where Anele kind of threatened to kill herself, jump off the balcony… she didn’t say it in those words though.”

He said he called hotel security, and then decided to leave the room and went into the bathroom. When he came out, Tembe wasn’t in the room.

“She wasn’t there and I looked out the room… I looked out the balcony and that’s where she was,” said Forbes. 

When asked where in the room he was at the time it was said she jumped off the balcony, Forbes said the exact details were “a bit blurry”.

“Events are blurry because I didn’t lay eyes on her at the time I made the call to security. The phone was here and the balcony was over there when I made the call… so I tried to get out the situation. I don’t know whether it was during the call that she had jumped or when I was in the bathroom, or whatever the sequence of events are, but that’s how I remember it.”

The rapper said Tembe was suicidal and had tried taking her life before, adding that he couldn’t understand why her father, prominent businessman Moses Tembe said she hadn’t taken her own life and was not suicidal.

PICS | Rapper AKA broke down a door to get to Anele Tembe – a month before her death

The tumultuous relationship was laid bare in images published by News24, showing the award-winning rapper breaking down a door in their Bryanston apartment to get to Tembe, who had been hiding. The incident is alleged to have taken place in March. According to a friend of Tembe’s, she recorded Forbes breaking down the door and had allegedly smashed her face against a wall during a fight.

Tembe handed the footage to the friend.

Forbes denied abusing Anele.

“No, I would never abuse Anele, I treated her like gold… she was my everything.”

Forbes admitted to having used drugs before, but refused to answer whether Tembe also took drugs.

Police opened an inquest into Tembe’s death.

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