South African police said on Tuesday they have arrested six people over the murder last year of one of the country’s hottest rap artists, Kiernan Forbes, known as AKA.

The 35-year-old musician was gunned down on February 10 last year while walking with a friend outside a popular Durban restaurant hours before he was to perform at a nearby club.

“Six people have been arrested that will appear in court on Thursday” police minister Bheki Cele told a press conference in Durban.

He said the oldest suspect was 36 and that others could be added to the list.

Provincial police commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi told reporters that the “mastermind”, two gunmen, two spotters and “the organiser of firearms and vehicles” were all in custody.

Several of those arrested were linked to separate murder cases, he said, and two had been held in the neighbouring landlocked country of Eswatini.

Police worked with Interpol and the Eswatini government to arrest two people “hiding” there and extradition procedures would be started, the commissioner said.

Mkhwanazi said police had a suspicion of the motive but would not discuss the matter.

It was revealed that the rapper had been followed from his time of arrival at Durban airport to the restaurant.

South Africa has one of the world’s highest murder rates with a number of entertainment stars among the victims.

In 2007, reggae singer Lucky Dube was dropping off his teenage son at a relative’s home when gunmen shot him three times during a failed attempt to steal his car.

The southern African nation recorded almost 84 murders a day between October and December, according to police statistics released this month.

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