Former ally likely a victim of SA’s crime wave – Rwanda’s Kagame

2011-08-01 16:52

Rwandan president Paul Kagame has suggested that one of his former generals, who was shot in Johannesburg last year, was simply a victim of crime.

Speaking at a press conference in Rwandan capital Kigali, Kagame said the incident involving Faustin Nyamwasa – who was once one of Kagame’s closest allies – was the result of the fact that crime is rife in South Africa.

“He was shot in South Africa, not here [Kigali], so there are many elements to look at. You have tens of thousands of cases there [similar to this] that has nothing to do with Rwanda.”

The relationship between the two men soured when Kagame’s regime accused Nyamwasa of planning to overthrow the Kagame administration.

Nyamwasa subsequently fled to South Africa and was given refugee status.

In Kigali the trial continued and he was charged with terrorism and sentenced to life in prison.

Nyamwasa is said to be close friends with high-ranking South African politicians, including Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and former intelligence boss Billy Masetlha.

Both are said to have visited him in hospital after he was shot outside his Atholl home in Johannesburg. Six men are standing trial in the Randburg magistrate’s court and the allegation was made that they were linked to the Kagame regime. Kigali has repeatedly denied this, but South Africa has still not granted an extradition order in which Rwanda is asking that Nyamwasa be sent back to his home country.

Kagame insisted today the shooting and the Nyamwasa’s political problems were two separate issues.“If you want to mix it up with politics, it is your choice. Maybe it is how you see it where you come from. But where I come from I don’t see it that way.”

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