Police in South Africa have launched a murder inquiry into the shooting death of an exiled Rwandan opposition politician in Cape Town, in what his party called a targeted killing by Rwanda’s government.
Abdallah Bamporiki, the coordinator of the South African opposition party known as the Rwanda National Congress, was pulled from his vehicle by two assailants and killed by a single bullet in Nyanga Township, South African police said. The 49-year old exile, who ran a furniture shop in Cape Town, was making a delivery to a customer when he was attacked.
Police, who announced their inquiry late Sunday, said a preliminary investigation points to robbery as a motive. But the Rwanda National Congress party, many of whose senior members are living in exile, said the killing was an assassination that followed a pattern of murders ordered by the Rwandan government against opponents inside and outside the country.
“While investigations are going on to determine the exact cause of Mr. Bamporiki’s assassination, the incident resembles assassinations that happened before, where the victims were lured by people they knew; but who fatally betrayed them to death,” the party said.
A Rwandan government spokesman didn’t respond to calls for comment. The government has denied that it targets dissidents abroad. Some pro-Rwandan government accounts on Twitter blamed the killing on the infighting within the ranks of Rwanda National Congress party.