AKA, a well-known South African rapper, was shot and killed outside a restaurant in the coastal city of Durban.

Tebello "Tibz" Motsoane, a chef and businessman, and Kiernan Forbes, a close friend of both, were both killed.

As part of the celebrations for Forbes' birthday, the two were en route to a nightclub where they were scheduled to perform.

Investigators are looking into the murderer's motivation.

The rapper and his friend were shot at close range while they were approaching their car when they were approached by two armed men, according to police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda, who spoke to the BBC.

After that, the attackers made a run for it on foot.

Police have stated that they don't want to speculate as to whether the killings were the result of a hit, but that they cannot completely rule out that possibility.

Before launching his solo career, Forbes started his musical career as a member of the rap group Entity, where he won several awards for his music in South Africa.

With several nominations for a Black Entertainment Television (BET) Award in the US and an MTV Europe Music Award, he was also honored on a global scale.

The 35-year-old shared information about his upcoming album, Mass Country, which is due out later this month, on social media just hours before he passed away.

On one of his social media accounts, Forbes' parents have posted a statement in tribute to him.

In their statement, they said that Kiernan Jarryd Forbes was to them "a son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin, and friend, most importantly father to his beloved daughter Kairo.

"To many, he was known by his affectionate nicknames AKA, Supa Mega, Bhova, and a host of other names. Our son was loved and reciprocated that love.

Social media users have referred to Motsoane, who was formerly AKA's manager, as "a true gentleman.".

The murder rate in South Africa is among the highest in the world, and shootings are frequent.

The nonprofit organization Gun Free South Africa, which works to lessen gun violence there, estimates that 30 people are killed there every day by firearms.

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