Slain Rwandan ex-spy to be buried in SA

2014-01-09 09:25
Patrick Karegeya, Rwanda's former spy chief. (File, AP)

Patrick Karegeya, Rwanda's former spy chief. (File, AP)

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Johannesburg - Rwanda's former intelligence chief Patrick Karegeya, who was found strangled to death in a Johannesburg hotel on New Year's Day, will be buried in South Africa where he was exiled, his widow said on Wednesday.

"The funeral will take place in Johannesburg," Leah Karegeya told AFP on the phone from the United States where she lives.

The burial date is yet to be confirmed, she said.

"If it doesn't happen this weekend then perhaps the next weekend," she said.

She said she was "trying my best to come" and bid her late husband farewell.

The family had hoped to organise the funeral in Uganda where Karegeya was born, "but for some reason, it was complicated so we decided to bury him in Johannesburg", said the 50-year-old widow.

Karegeya, 53, was discovered slumped on a bed by staff at the plush Michelangelo Towers hotel in Johannesburg's upmarket suburb of Sandton on 1 January.

Fierce critic

A bloodied towel and a rope were found in the room and police preliminary investigations suggest he might have been strangled. No arrests have been made yet.

His killing has prompted accusations that Rwandan President Paul Kagame had ordered a hit.

The former head of Rwanda's external intelligence service and once a close Kagame ally, Karegeya later fell out of favour.

In 2007 he fled into exile in South Africa, where he became a fierce critic, describing Kagame as a dictator and alleging he had first-hand knowledge of the state killing of Rwandan dissidents abroad.

Another prominent Rwandan dissident in South Africa, Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, survived two assassination attempts in June 2010.

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