Nyamwasa needs to be "eliminated"

Kaymumba Nyamwasa has accused the Rwandan president of ordering a hit on him.

Former Rwandan army chief Kayumba Nyamwasa in a Johannesburg court on 20 June 2012. Picture:Rahima Essop/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - A Johannesburg court heard about a secret phone call, an assassination plot and accusations against Rwandan president Paul Kagame.

This emerged during the trial of six men accused of trying to kill former Rwandan army chief Kayumba Nyamwasa outside his Atholl home two years ago.

Nyamwasa, who is living in exile in South Africa - was shot and wounded in the June 2010 attack.

When prosecutor Shaun Abrahams asked Nyamwasa why the six men wanted him dead, the former army chief responded by describing the breakdown in his relationship with Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Nyamwasa then accused the current president of having ordered a hit on Rwanda's previous head of state.

Defence lawyers objected resulting in his statement being struck from the court record.

Nyamwasa testified that before the attempt on his life, he knew he was in danger.

He explained that he overheard a telephone conversation in which a top Rwandan official said he wanted him "eliminated".

He will be cross examined when the trial resumes in July.

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

As a trained military man, he intuitively opened his door and tried to dive from the car, but was instead hit in the abdomen.

He described how he tried to disarm the shooter before making it 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.