Rwanda’s ex- army chief in Joburg court

2012-07-28 17:09

It’s a trial laden with political sensitivities which have brought South Africa and Rwanda to the brink of suspending diplomatic relations.

In the one corner is former Rwandan army chief Kayumba Nyamwasa; in the other, two Rwandan agents and their Tanzanian and Ugandan hired guns, accused of attempting to kill Nyamwasa at his home in the upmarket Joburg suburb of Melrose in June 2010.

The accused are charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and the unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.

One of the Rwandan agents, Pascal Kanyandekwe, is also accused of corruption after allegedly trying to bribe a police officer with a million dollars after his arrest.

The regional court proceedings have for security reasons been shifted to the Jeppe Magistrates’ Court and armed police officers have been present throughout.

Five of the six accused are unemployed, yet they are represented by competent legal teams. Kanyandekwe, allegedly the leader of the killing squad, even has a senior counsel on call.

The Rwandan government has a lawyer representing them in court.

The court heard evidence of a telephone conversation between one of the Rwandan agents with that country’s intelligence chief, Colonel Dr Emmanuel Ndahiro, about Nyamwasa’s shooting. They discussed whether or not he would survive.

Keys fitting the security gate to Nyamwasa’s house were found in the accused’s possession. And police officers have testified about confessions made to them about the conspiracy to assassinate Nyamwasa.

The shooter, Tanzanian Hemedi Sefu, pointed Kanyandekwe out to police and said that he was the boss who gave them money
from Rwanda to kill the general.

The court also heard of a second attempt to kill Nyamwasa after the first failed.

The Rwandan government has denied any involvement.

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