South African rap star AKA was shot dead outside a popular night spot in the coastal city of Durban on Friday.
The 35-year-old — whose real name is Kiernan Forbes — was walking with another man towards their car after visiting a restaurant on Friday night, when they were shot according to police.
“They were allegedly approached by two armed suspects who walked to them from across the street and shot the victims at close range,” police said in a statement.
AKA’s parents, Tony and Lynn Forbes, said in a statement posted on his Twitter account. “Our son was loved, and he gave love in return.”
Police have yet to determine a motive for the shooting but are investigating.
Tributes and anger after AKA’s death
AKA was nominated several times for a Black Entertainment Television (BET) Award in the United States, and was once nominated for an MTV Europe Music Award.
He was known for hits like “Lemons (Lemonade)” and “Fela in Versace” and released the album “Prada” earlier this year.
His death shocked a country that is not unaccustomed to violent crime.
The Department of Arts and Culture said it mourned his passing and remembered him as an artist who “flew the South African flag high where ever he went.”
The Democratic Alliance — the country’s main opposition party — said “the loss of AKA is felt by many who have been touched by his music.”
While another opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters, said “crime in South Africa is out of control, and the assassination of civilians has become a norm.”
Shootings are common in South Africa, which has one of the world’s highest murder rates.
Many people have licensed firearms for personal protection, yet there are many more illegal guns in circulation.
AFP material contributed to this report.
lo/kb (AFP, DW sources)