Seif Bamporiki doesn’t trust it. For days, a customer scolded him about the delivery of a bed in the Nyanga neighborhood of Cape Town. The neighborhood has been at the top of the top 5 most unsafe neighborhoods in South Africa for years: most murders, most rapes, most robberies with violence.
Bamporiki runs a pawn shop in the neighboring district of Philippi: he buys and sells second-hand furniture. Three-seater, refrigerators, that work.
There is an important reason why Bamporiki cannot immediately meet the demand of its customer. He’s in Johannesburg for a few days for a memorial service. When he lands at Cape Town airport on Sunday morning, February 21, his phone rings. That customer again. Whether he can deliver that bed that same afternoon, in Nyanga, near the field in the slum of Europe, a neighborhood where many migrants have settled. “The customer insisted that Seif bring that bed very personally. He found that suspicious ”, says Etienne Mutabazi on the phone, a friend of Seif Bamporiki, or, as he says himself,“ a brother ”.
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As a precaution, Bamporiki takes a colleague who also works in the store. By the time the two arrive at the customer, it is already getting dark in Nyanga. The customer asks Bamporiki and his colleague to stop for a moment at a dead end so that he can “get money”. The customer disappears between the houses made of tin and corrugated iron. “He is not back after 15 minutes,” says Mutabazi. The colleague stands on the bed in the back of the pick-up. For a better view. Just as he jumps off the car again, two men appear from the twilight. One of them walks to the side window of the pickup truck and pulls out a gun. The colleague flees into an alley. When he returns a little later, he finds Bamporiki in a pool of blood. The car is gone. Bamporiki’s wallet, without money, is on his chest.
Is Seif Bamporiki a victim of one of the nearly 300 robberies that take place on average every year in Nyanga? “This murder is still under investigation,” said André Traut, spokesman for the Cape Town police.
For the time being, the police assume that the motive was theft. But for Etienne Mutabazi it is clear that is not true. “His colleague did not hear a bang from the gun. Probably a silencer was used, very unusual in robberies. Until proven otherwise, we assume that my friend has been eliminated premeditated. ”
“We” are the members of the Rwandan National Congress, an opposition party in exile. Seif Bamporiki was the chairman, Mutabazi is the spokesperson. The memorial service for which Bamporiki flew to Johannesburg, a trip he returned from that Sunday, was in honor of other murdered Rwandan opposition members.
South Africa has long been the scene of political assassination and attempted assassination of opponents of Rwandan President Paul Kagame. On New Year’s Day 2013, Colonel Patrick Karegeya was lured by a Rwandan businessman to a hotel room at the Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg. For days the sign ‘do not disturb’ hung on the door of his room. Eventually, the hotel staff found his body. Strangled.
The Colonel was President Kagame’s chief of external intelligence for years – until the two got into a fight in 2006 and Karegeya fled to South Africa.
There were also three, maybe even four attempts to get rid of General Kayumba Nyamwasa. Nyamwasa was the Chief of Staff of the Army and the Chief of Intelligence in Rwanda between 1998 and 2002. In 2010 he broke up with Kagame and fled to South Africa. In the same year, he was shot in the stomach in the parking lot of his home in Johannesburg. A day after that failed assassination attempt, President Paul Kagame said at a party rally: “Anyone who betrays this country will pay a heavy price. I assure you. Whoever it is, it will only be a matter of time. ”
In June 2019, another dissident was murdered in Cape Town: Kagame’s former bodyguard Camir Nkurunziza.
Justice in South Africa will not give up. In 2014, four men are convicted of the general’s attempted murder. According to the judge, the connection between the killers and the government in Rwanda has been sufficiently proven. The murder of Colonel Karegeya has also been investigated. But the South African judge decided to stop the lawsuit in 2019, because the prosecutor cannot identify suspects.
Etienne Mutabazi knows that opposition to President Kagame is perilous. Nevertheless, he remains affiliated with the Rwanda National Congress. “These are great sacrifices. But we will continue our fight. ”
Murder with political air in slum
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