Tags: safrica | rwanda | spy | strangled

Rwandan Ex-Spy Chief Strangled in Johannesburg Hotel Room

Thursday, 02 Jan 2014 06:34 AM

JOHANNESBURG  Rwanda’s former head of intelligence, Patrick Karegeya, 53, was found dead on a bed in a hotel room in Johannesburg’s affluent Sandown area Wednesday, the South African Police Service said.

“Preliminary investigations revealed that his neck was swollen,” the South African Police Service said in an emailed statement Thursday. “A towel with blood and a rope were found in the hotel room safe.”

Karegeya, living in exile in South Africa, was meeting a friend from Rwanda.

After searching his home in Roodeport, west of Johannesburg, his nephew came back to the hotel and he was found in one of the rooms, Kayumba Nyamwasa, a founding member of the Rwanda National Congress, an opposition party, said in a mobile phone interview from Pretoria, the capital.

The former director of external intelligence booked into the hotel on Dec. 29, the police said.

Opponents to Rwandan President Paul Kagame “aren’t safe in South Africa and any other place in the world,” Nyamwasa, a former chief of staff in the Rwandan army said. Nyamwasa said he was shot at in June 2010 in a failed assassination attempt, also in Johannesburg.

Kagame has been the Rwandan President since April 2000. His ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front party won 41 out of 53 seats at the Sept. 16 parliamentary elections. While he has been praised for rebuilding the economy, human rights activists have criticized him for cracking down on civil rights and silencing dissent.

Karegeya was found in the Michaelangelo Towers hotel, close to the city’s stock exchange, said Michael Rwarinda, vice chairman of the Rwanda National Congress for its branch in South Africa’s Gauteng province, in an interview. Calls to the hotel weren’t answered.

There are about 3,500 Rwandan political refugees in South Africa, Rwarinda said.

Rwandan ambassador to South Africa Vincent Karega said he wasn’t aware of death other than news reports in an interview with Johannesburg-based state radio station SAfm. The embassy doesn’t have the capacity to investigate, he said.

In 2010 the deputy leader of Rwanda’s opposition Democratic Green Party, Andre Kagwa Rwisereka, was found dead with his head almost severed from his body near the city of Butare.

Last month Rwanda’s Supreme Court extended a jail sentence for former presidential candidate, Victoire Ingabire, to 15 years from 8 years, the Nairobi-based East African newspaper reported, citing a ruling. She had been charged with threatening state security and conspiring against the government.

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Rwanda’s former head of intelligence, Patrick Karegeya, 53, was found dead on a bed in a hotel room in Johannesburg’s affluent Sandown area Wednesday, the South African Police Service said.
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Thursday, 02 Jan 2014 06:34 AM
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