‘He was just, like, very scared’

2011-07-01 14:24

The state’s lead witness in the trial for the shooting of Rwanda’s exiled former army chief broke down today, describing how he feared for his family’s lives after the failed hit in South Africa.

Rwandan national Kalisa Mubarak told the court he fled Joburg after the shooting in June last year of former top general Faustin Nyamwasa, which he believes his friend helped arrange.

The friend, Rwandan national Amani Uriwani, is one of six men standing trial for the shooting. The accused – three Rwandans and three Tanzanians – deny the charges.

Mubarak, who is now in a witness protection programme, has testified that his friend Uriwani had told him about his involvement in a plan by Rwandan soldiers with lots of cash and cars “to shoot at a military person”.

He told the court today that when he learned Nyamwasa had been shot, he phoned Uriwani and said: “Do you see what you’ve done?”

“He said ‘Please Mubarak, don’t tell anyone’,” he said of his friend’s reaction.

“He was just, like, very scared.”

Mubarak said he later returned home and found Uriwani and another person waiting there, in a white Nissan truck with no license plates.

“I see that maybe I can be killed to not show the evidence,” he told the court.

Mubarak described fleeing to Cape Town after the shooting, then returning to Joburg and hopping from hotel to hotel, worrying his life was in danger.

He broke down on the witness stand telling how he feared for his pregnant wife, lifting the dark sunglasses he has worn throughout his testimony to wipe his eyes with a scarf.

Mubarak said after he helped police find and arrest Uriwani, five gunmen attacked his beauty salon in Joburg.

The trial will resume on October 24 and run through November 4, when defence attorneys will cross-examine Mubarak.

Nyamwasa, a former key ally of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, fled to South Africa in February after abandoning his post as Rwanda’s envoy to India amid accusations of corruption. 

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.