Embattled DRC opposition figure Katumbi in SA for treatment

2016-05-21 11:42

DRC opposition figure Moise Katumbi arrives at the courthouse in Lubumbashi. (Fiston Mahamba, AFP)

DRC opposition figure Moise Katumbi arrives at the courthouse in Lubumbashi. (Fiston Mahamba, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Democratic Republic of Congo opposition figure Moise Katumbi, President Joseph Kabila's powerful rival who has been charged with undermining state security, has arrived in South Africa for medical treatment, an aide said on Saturday.

Katumbi left DR Congo's second city Lubumbashi on Friday evening, arriving at the airport by ambulance which drove straight up to a waiting plane.

According to airport sources he was accompanied on the flight to Johannesburg by his wife and a doctor.

"He has arrived," said a source in his entourage, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, saying the plane on which he arrived was equipped with medical staff and equipment.

Peter Botha, an operations controller at Johannesburg's Lanseria airport said: "A medical plane from Lubumbashi arrived here last night" without saying who was on board.

Aides say Katumbi was injured during clashes between police and thousands of his supporters in Lubumbashi on May 13, with the source saying he was suffering from "respiratory problems" after being teargassed and was "currently under medical observation".

His detractors claim he is feigning medical problems.

His brother Abraham, who was injured after being pelted with stones, is also in Johannesburg, the source said.

The 51-year-old businessman is Kabila's leading rival for the country's top job after recently announcing plans to stand against the long-serving head of state.

Immediately afterwards, judicial authorities on May 4 opened an inquiry, alleging that Katumbi had hired foreign mercenaries.

Katumbi has denied the allegations as "grotesque lies" and said the case, which followed the arrest of four of his bodyguards, including an American, was politically motivated. He was then charged with undermining state security for which he is due to stand trial.

The case against Katumbi comes amid mounting domestic and international concern that Kabila will delay elections due to be held late this year when his second five-year mandate ends.

The opposition claims Kabila, in power since 2001, plans to extend his rule, and last week the Constitutional Court ruled he could stay in office beyond 2016 without being re-elected.


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.

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.