Kigali’s hit squad strikes again in South Africa

FrBy: Jennifer Fierberg, MSW

Frank Ntwali, Chairman of the African region of the Rwandan National Congress (RNC) was stabbed multiple times today in South Africa near OR Tambo International Airport. Three men came from behind his vehicle posing as police officers in plain clothes after first signaling for the vehicle to pull over. The men spoke in a local South African dialect and English. Once the three men approached the car they first verbally confirmed that he was indeed Frank Ntwali then attempted to force him out of his vehicle. One man grabbed his arms while another man stabbed him in the back, shoulder, legs, and lower abdomen near the kidneys. The three men then took the keys to the vehicle and fled the scene. The driver was left unharmed and no valuables were taken. This is an obvious sign that the intention was to kill Frank Ntwali and delay medical care. Should it have been a robbery valuables would have been taken.

Mr. Ntwali was taken to a trauma unit in a South African Hospital where his condition remains critical. Reports out of South Africa are that he is awake and speaking.

Mr. Ntwali is the brother-in-law to General Kayumba Nyamwasa who survived an assassination attempt two years ago which left him with a bullet lodged in his spine. While hospitalized for the shooting another attempt was made on General Nyamwasa’s life but was also unsuccessful.

The police in South Africa are searching for the assailants of the attempted murder against Mr. Ntwali and are scheduled to give a press conference regarding the matter on Thursday August 22, 2012. No known arrests have been made regarding this matter.

General Nyamwasa confirmed the incident to this writer today and the RNC made a brief press statement regarding the matter calling on its members to continue to stand against the dictatorial regime of Paul Kagame and not to be intimidated. The statement ensures that further details will be communicated as soon as there are new developments in the ongoing investigations.

General Nyamwasa is currently the plaintiff in the case of his attempted assassination and the trial resumed this week. Rwanda has two major publications that are sponsored by the government, The New Times and Igihe.  This week in the online Igihe publication there was a story in Kinyarwanda that stated the police officers who were testifying in the Nyamwasa case that Frank Ntwali was the one who arrested those were accused of the shooting in the Nymwasa assassination attempt and they further lied and stated that the police witness on the stand confused himself as he thought that Mr. Ntwali was a police officer as he was with the organized crime unit, in other words he misled the police. It is suspicious that Igihe reported this matter and the next day Mr. Ntwali faced the assassination attempt.

As General Nyamwasa’s assailants were caught so will those of Mr. Ntwali.

This week South Africa sent an urgent message to Rwanda telling them to stop supporting rebels in the D.R. Congo (http://www.rnw.nl/africa/bulletin/southern-africa-tells-rwanda-stop-dr-congo-rebel-support) further straining the relations between the two countries.

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