Nyamwasa speaks out in court

Six men stand trial for their involvement in a plot to kill Kayumba Nyamwasa.

Kayumba Nyamwasa described to a Johannesburg court how he survived a dramatic assassination attempt on his life. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Former Rwandan army chief Kayumba Nyamwasa described to a Johannesburg court on Thursday how he survived a dramatic assassination attempt on his life.

Six men stand trial for their involvement in a plot to kill Nyamwasa outside his Atholl home in June 2010.

Nyamwasa is in exile in South Africa.

The dramatic assignation attempt happened outside the former general's home in Atholl.

Nyamwasa said he was in his car when a gunman stuck his arm into the vehicle through an open window and fired a shot at him.

Being a trained military man, he instinctively opened his door and tried to dive out, but instead was hit in the abdomen.

He then described how he tried to disarm the shooter before running several metres to safety.

When prosecutor Shaun Abrahams asked him to identify the shooter in court, Nymawasa confidently stepped out of the witness box, walked over to the dock and placed his hand firmly on accused number five, Hemedi Sefu.

This case is a diplomatically sensitive trial involving former soldiers, shadowy secret funders and allegations of political intrigue.

The Johannesburg Magistrate's Court ruled in the state's favour on Tuesday, during a trial within a trial to determine the admissibility of crucial evidence, meaning the state will now be able to use confessions and point out statements against three of the accused.

The Tanzanian and Rwandan nationals are accused of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder and one of the accused was Nyamwasa's chauffeur at the time of the shooting.

Nyamwasa, who was convicted in his home country for terrorism, was shot in the stomach and wounded during the assassination attack.