Pros­e­cu­tion says Rwan­dan’s ‘busi­ness’ was as­sas­si­na­tion

The Washington Times Daily - - World - BY AN­GUS SHAW

JO­HAN­NES­BURG | A South African po­lice de­tec­tive tes­ti­fied that a Rwan­dan businessman of­fered po­lice a $1 mil­lion bribe to free him af­ter his ar­rest on sus­pi­cion of bankrolling an as­sas­si­na­tion at­tempt against an ex­iled dis­si­dent Rwan­dan gen­eral.

The trial of those ac­cused of try­ing to kill Rwan­dan Lt. Gen. Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa in a June 2010 shoot­ing has ex­posed a grow­ing web of fi­nan­cial and po­lit­i­cal in­trigue in­volv­ing Rwanda and South Africa.

Leonard Kanye of the Jo­han­nes­burg Or­ga­nized Crimes unit tes­ti­fied in court on Mon­day that he ar­rested Rwan­dan sus­pect Pas­cal Kanyan­dekwe at the Jo­han­nes­burg air­port soon af­ter the at­tempted killing.

He said the Rwan­dan of­fered the money while hand­cuffed in the back of a po­lice car. His seized bag­gage con­tained two pass­ports and pho­to­graphs of two of five other sus­pects on trial for the at­tempted killing. All six men have pleaded in­no­cent. The trial re­sumed Mon­day for two weeks of tes­ti­mony af­ter a lengthy se­ries of hear­ings.

Mr. Kanye said Mr. Kanyan­dekwe ar­rived at the Jo­han­nes­burg air­port from Rwanda on July 2, 2010. A po­lice of­fi­cer sent to the air­port to find him called his mo­bile num­ber and claimed to be a driver sent to pick him up.

In the un­marked po­lice car, Mr. Kanyan­dekwe was ar­rested and read his rights.

Mr. Kanye, a 17-year veteran of the po­lice ser­vice, said Mr. Kanyan­dekwe be­came edgy and “said we mustn’t ar­rest him. He would give us $1 mil­lion” if he was taken in­stead to the Jo­han­nes­burg dis­trict of Kyalami.

Pros­e­cu­tor Shaun Abra­hams said the con­tents of the Rwan­dan’s lug­gage in­cluded a key “al­most iden­ti­cal” to one re­cov­ered from an­other ar­rested Rwan­dan sus­pect, Amani Uri­wani, an out-of-work truck driver al­legedly re­cruited for his con­tacts with other Rwan­dans and African im­mi­grants in South Africa.

Mr. Kayan­dekwe, 30, says he was set­ting up busi­nesses in South Africa.

But Mr. Kanye said his two pass­ports, one iden­ti­fy­ing him as a na­tional of Bel­gium, Rwanda’s for­mer colo­nial ruler, and the other as a Rwan­dan, showed he came to South Africa for the first time just be­fore the at­tempted killing.

He en­tered South Africa twice af­ter the shoot­ing and again flew from Rwanda to Jo­han­nes­burg on the day of his ar­rest.

Pho­to­graphs of his al­leged ac­com­plices in his lug­gage showed they were printed by a dig­i­tal photo store in Bu­rundi’s cap­i­tal of Bu­jum­bura.

The Rwan­dan gov­ern­ment has de­nied in­volve­ment in the as­sas­si­na­tion at­tempt out­side the Jo­han­nes­burg home of Gen. Nyamwasa, a for­mer Rwan­dan mil­i­tary chief who has be­come a sharp critic of Rwan­dan Pres­i­dent Paul Kagame since com­ing to South Africa in 2010.

But Rwan­dans in ex­ile have ac­cused Mr. Kagame of us­ing his agents to hunt down his ex­ter­nal foes.

Gen. Nyamwasa and dis­si­dent lead­ers ac­cuse Mr. Kagame of crush­ing op­po­nents and tram­pling on democ­racy af­ter help­ing to end the geno­cide that left 500,000 peo­ple dead in 1994.

Mr. Kagame was re-elected in 2010, months af­ter Gen. Nyamwasa was shot.

Last year, Gen. Nyamwasa was among four for­mer Kagame aides in ex­ile in South Africa and the United States who were con­victed in their ab­sence by a Rwan­dan mil­i­tary court for dis­turb­ing public or­der, sec­tar­i­an­ism, crim­i­nal con­spir­acy and threat­en­ing state se­cu­rity.

South African prose­cu­tors have said key wit­nesses in the po­lit­i­cally and diplo­mat­i­cally sen­si­tive trial have sought po­lice pro­tec­tion in South Africa be­cause they fear Rwanda’s gov­ern­ment.

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