JOHANNESBURG – A South African court found four men guilty Friday of an attempt to murder an exiled former Rwandan general in front of his home in Johannesburg, an attack that the general said was ordered by Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
Two other suspects were acquitted for the shooting in 2010 that injured Gen. Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, the court said.
Nyamwasa, a former top aide to Rwanda's president, fell out with him in 2010 and fled to South Africa where he was granted political asylum. Nyamwasa and others accuse Rwanda's president of ordering two attempts on his life, and the murder of another critic of the Rwandan government, Col. Patrick Karegeya, a former Rwandan spymaster. He was found strangled in a plush Johannesburg hotel on Dec. 31, 2013. Karegeya was also exiled in South Africa and was Nyamwasa's friend and former colleague.
Rwanda's government has denied involvement in the attacks.
Karegeya's nephew, David Batenga, said he was pleased the four men were found guilty but discouraged the other two were not.
Sentencing is set for Sept. 10.
Rwanda's government is praised for making impressive progress in the delivery of public services since the 1994 genocide but Human Rights Watch says freedom of expression is tightly controlled and that the government has threatened critics and obstructed opposition parties and independent civil society.
In Rwanda on Friday, two senior army officers were charged with inciting the public against the government. Brig. Gen. Frank Rusagara and Col. Tom Byabagamba were also charged in a military court with illegal possession of firearms and spreading falsehoods. The two were arrested last week.
Byabagamba once was the commander of the elite force in charge of Kagame's security. Rusagara, who retired from the army last year, had recently served as the defense attache at Rwanda's diplomatic mission in Britain. His driver, retired Sgt. Francois Kabayiza, was also charged Friday.