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Guard describes finding Nelli in street after fall from Cape Town hotel

Rapper AKA’s fiancee Anele “Nelli” Tembe has died tragically after plunging from the balcony of a Cape Town hotel on Sunday morning. Picture African News Agency (ANA)

Rapper AKA’s fiancee Anele “Nelli” Tembe has died tragically after plunging from the balcony of a Cape Town hotel on Sunday morning. Picture African News Agency (ANA)

Published Apr 12, 2021


Cape Town - A security guard who was first on the scene where Anele “Nelli” Tembe, the fiancée of SA rapper AKA, fell from the tenth floor penthouse of the Pepperclub Hotel, has described the harrowing discovery.

The security guard said he heard someone scream before a loud thud followed at around 7.30am on Sunday morning.

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“I thought it was a car crash and we went to look and at first we didn’t see anything, and then someone shouted that there was someone lying on the street,” said the security guard, who asked to remain anonymous.

“We went closer and saw a naked young woman, she was still breathing at that time.”

Netcare 911 spokesperson Shawn Herbst said paramedics arrived on the scene shortly after 8am and found a 22-year-old female who had allegedly jumped from the tenth floor, landing on the road below.

“Medics assessed the patient who had sustained critical injuries and was treated on scene by an advanced life support paramedic. While stabilizing the patient her condition rapidly deteriorated and she was sadly declared deceased on the scene,” Herbst said.

In a joint statement on Sunday, the Tembe and Forbes families, said AKA, whose real name is Kiernan Forbes, was inconsolable and was surrounded by family and close friends.

"It is with the deepest regret that we, the Tembe and Forbes families, confirm the untimely passing of our beloved fiancé, daughter, sister and daughter-in-law, Anele Tembe (22). Anele tragically passed on in the early hours of this morning, Sunday 11 April 2021,“ the statement said.

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"We are still in shock and are dealing with our emotions, as she was an exceptional and gifted young woman, with so much life ahead of her. She had a sweet nature about her and was always nurturing to those around her. Her fiancé, Kiernan Forbes, is currently inconsolable and is surrounded by family and closest friends. At this hour of our grief, we humbly request that our families be given privacy and time to heal.“

The pair, who had been dating for just over a year, got engaged in February and two weeks ago celebrated successful lobola negotiations.

The Fela in Versace hitmaker had reportedly performed at a Cape Town club on Saturday night.

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He updated his Instagram with videos and pictures of their Saturday afternoon and evening in Cape Town, where they were shopping and dining, and his last post of Nelli was around 1am on Sunday where they were enjoying themselves in a nightclub.

Police are investigating the matter with crime-scene experts looking for clues at the hotel.

SAPS spokesperson FC van Wyk said on Sunday: “Cape Town Central police are investigating an inquest case after an incident at a hotel this morning at about 07:45 on the corners of Loop and Bloem Street, Cape Town CBD where the body of a 22-year-old woman was found deceased.”

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