More than a month has passed since AKA’s fiancée, Anele Tembe, fell to her death at a hotel in Cape Town. Speculations around her death have been running wild. As promised, AKA is telling his side of the story. He sat with BarLeader to discuss allegations of abuse in his relationship with Tembe, as well as reveals what happened on the day she died.
Here is a summary of the hour+ long interview:
1. Starting off.
- Kiernan Jarryd Forbes (AKA) begins by acknowledging his state of grief and loss, as well as that of both his and Anele’s family.
- AKA makes it clear that his intention is to preserve the memory of his fiancée so that she is remembered in “the right way.”
2. The night Anele died, April 11.
- AKA emphasises the context of the day leading up to the event. According to him, it was a great day filled with friends, lunch and shopping at the V&A Waterfront.
- The couple returned to the hotel to get dressed for an event. “She looked beautiful, as always.”
- They returned to the hotel after work at around 11.30pm, whereafter they began discussing issues they had been experiencing in their relationship.
- According to Forbes, the week leading up to the event had been difficult, with lots of arguments and disagreements.
- The conversation became heated, carrying on until early hours of the morning.
- At one point, AKA decided to gather his belongings and get another room. Anele allegedly took her engagement ring off and threw it at him. They said mean things to each other.
- AKA then left the room, only to return later on because he had Anele’s cell phone.
- The argument continued and things took a turn for the worst. Anele had threatened to kill herself, to jump off the balcony.
- AKA called hotel security and again removed himself from the situation. He allegedly went into the bathroom.
- “When I came out of the bathroom she wasn’t in the room. I looked around the room and she’s not there.”
- Forbes then went out to the balcony and peered over where he saw Anele’s body lying on the street.
- He started screaming. There was soon another gentleman to Forbes’ left on his own balcony.
- Forbes then ran to his friend’s room next door in a hysterical state.
- According to Forbes, he wanted to go down but “they said no.”
- From this point, AKA remained in the neighbouring room.
- A friend became a sort of messenger for AKA, going back and forth to update him.
- On the first point of return, the friend allegedly told AKA that Anele was still alive and that “paramedics were working on her.”
- “They had said that she was still alive. There’s no way. We were on the tenth floor.”
- The second return of the friend confirmed Anele’s death to AKA. “My friend came up and he just shook his head. She was dead.”
- AKA remembers last seeing Anele “walking past me from the door towards the balcony.”
- It is alleged that no one came from hotel security following the phone call made by AKA.
- “The events are blurry because I didn’t really lay eyes on her from the time I made the call to security.”
3. The events after Anele’s death.
- Forbes called his father, who lives in Cape Town. His father then came to the hotel.
- AKA’s father allegedly called Anele’s father to deliver the news.
- The rapper then went to stay at another undisclosed location.
4. Leading up to the funeral.
- Two of Anele’s sisters flew to Cape Town from Durban to identify the body. According to AKA, there was no blame directed in that moment.
5. The Funeral:
- Forbes took care of the funeral arrangements. “I made sure that I buried my wife with dignity.”
- AKA reports that he cannot understand why Anele’s father would suggest against suicide or make mention of drugs. “I can’t speculate as to why he would say these things.”
- Innuendos that bothered AKA at the funeral were that Anele didn’t commit suicide and that the Minister of Police was there speaking. “I couldn’t understand that.”
- Forbes got to the funeral expecting to speak. He had prepared a eulogy. However, it is alleged that when he sat down and opened the memorial service schedule, his name was not listed to speak.
- The Minister of Police wasn’t scheduled to speak yet did.
- “The father” saying it wasn’t a suicide coupled with police presence didn’t “feel right” to Forbes.
6. After the funeral.
- AKA met with Anele’s father to discuss the events at the funeral.
- Anele’s father’s explanation was that he wanted to preserve his daughters memory, and that he didn’t want people portraying her in the media like “that.”
- AKA makes mention that suicide is culturally taboo, hence Anele’s father’s attempt to protect her memory in that sense.
- Forbes has not spoken to Anele’s father since their meeting after the funeral.
7. The comment on drugs.
- Forbes considers the nature of his career, admitting to taking drugs before. He does not answer directly as to whether or not drugs were involved on the night of Anele’s death.
- When asked about Anele, he responded saying that he can only speak for himself.
8. Accusations of abuse following video footage released.
- AKA reiterates that he and Anele’s relationship was “passionate.”
- “Passion goes both ways. Disagreements we had could go both ways. I understand what it looks like. I need to own that. I can only imagine how afraid she must have been and it’s something I’m not proud of. If I could redo it…It kind of torments me everyday.”
- AKA said that he is not an abuser and that he treated Anele like gold.
- Forbes again reiterates context.
- He said that the video was taken following a night of work in Pretoria.
- This same night, Anele allegedly tried to jump out of a moving car.
- He reports that Anele had “threatened” suicide on many occasions.
- “[Anele] had to be talked down off a ledge at the Hilton in Durban,” whereafter she spent a week in psychiatric care.
- “You need to understand that… in that moment, I didn’t truly believe that Anele would do it.”
- AKA admits to having a volatile relationship with Anele, where things would get physical (in the sense of trashing rooms, etc.). However, he denies ever physically abusing her. Specifically, he denies ever hitting Anele.
- Forbes has no diagnosed mental health issues, however he did admit to having problems with anger.
9. Police presence and the media.
- “There are certain things that don’t sit well with myself and my legal representatives,” said Forbes.
- AKA makes mention on several occasions that information and updates are one-sided, only being delivered to the Tembe family. “I also need to be updated.”
- He also finds the timing of personal video footage and statements released by an “unnamed activist” to be suspicious.
- AKA believes that someone has unlocked Anele’s phone.
- “I’m requesting clarity on the status of this inquest.”
- “The timing of the video and clips is something he’s paying attention to,” he said.
- “A nameless activist. I don’t understand. There’s no accountability. My opinion is that it’s not a friend who has decided to step forward all of a sudden.”
- Forbes does not disclose information that has shaped his opinion, adding that he “can’t point any fingers at her family.”
- AKA is currently in the process of asking questions through his legal representatives.
- He is not accusing the police of anything, he “just [wants] clarity and to be updated.”
10. In closing.
- Forbes believes that following this interview, nothing can contradict his statement.
- “I want people to understand that I have my flaws, Anele had her flaws. It’s just not possible for anything other than what happened that day to be other than what happened. I will cooperate with the police as much as needed, as I have before.”
- AKA is in therapy and is focusing on prayer.