Rwandan opposition figure found strangled in South African hotel

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 January, 2014, 8:57pm
UPDATED : Friday, 03 January, 2014, 2:37am


A former head of Rwanda's external intelligence service was found strangled in a hotel in South Africa, where he has lived in exile for several years, his opposition party said yesterday.

"The Rwandan opposition is deeply saddened to announce the assassination of Colonel Patrick Karegeya in Johannesburg," the Rwanda National Congress said in a statement. "His body was found in a hotel where he went for a meeting."

"It is true," Frank Ntwali, the party's chairman for Africa said. "He was strangled by agents of [Rwandan President Paul] Kagame."

Ntwali said Karegeya was killed at the Michelangelo Towers, an upmarket hotel in the Johannesburg suburb of Sandton. It was not immediately clear if he was killed on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Karegeya, in his early fifties, was for a long time close to Kagame. He served as head of external intelligence for around a decade before being demoted to army spokesman. He was later arrested and jailed. He was stripped of his rank of colonel in 2006 and fled into exile the following year.

Another prominent Rwandan dissident in South Africa, Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, survived two assassination attempts in June 2010.

Karegeya and Nyamwasa were both prominent figures in the opposition party.