The Western Cape police have allegedly been ordered to further investigate circumstances leading to the death of Anele “Nelli” Tembe after they had reportedly finalised the first inquest in May.
Three months after Tembe fell to her death from a tenth-floor room in the Pepperclub Hotel in Cape Town, it has emerged that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has referred the docket back to the police for further investigation.
City Press understands that the police had concluded their investigation on May 25 and forwarded it to the office of the public prosecutor, but they were requested to investigate once again following alleged deficiencies that were identified.
When approached for comment, Western Cape police spokesperson Joseph Swartbooi only said that investigations into the matter were ongoing: “Kindly be advised that an inquest docket was registered for further investigation. The investigation into the matter continues.”
The NPA then reverted and said this was a suicide investigation and what [the police] had provided had elements [of there being] a suspect of murder
City Press has learnt that central to the decision to refer the docket back for further investigation was an interview that rapper Kiernan “AKA” Forbes gave on May 22, when he detailed incidents of self-harm and prior suicide attempts by Tembe, including one at a hotel in Durban last year.
Two sources close to the investigation claimed that the interview was crucial in the finalisation of the initial inquest, but said that its contents had led to the NPA requesting a second investigation.
According to NPA sources, the authority referred the docket back because the police approached the matter as if there was a murder suspect and did not follow the standard procedure in an inquest investigation.
“After the interview, the matter was closed by the SA Police Service and handed over to the NPA for review. The NPA then reverted and said this was a suicide investigation and what [the police] had provided had elements [of there being] a suspect of murder,” the source said.
The mole said the NPA identified elements in the first investigation that showed that the police investigated AKA as a suspect in Tembe’s death and not as an inquest to identify causes leading to a suicide inquest.