South Africa is considering breaking diplomatic ties with Rwanda after both countries expelled each other’s envoys, following an assassination attempt against a former Rwandan army chief in Johannesburg.
A South African senior diplomatic source said Sunday that Pretoria was considering recalling the country’s ambassador to Rwanda as well as closing the Rwanda Embassy in the capital.
On March 7, South Africa expelled three Rwandan diplomats in connection with an assassination attempt against exiled former Rwandan army chief, Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa.
According to the diplomatic source, whose name was not mentioned in the report, South African security agencies caught the alleged hitmen and expelled them, claiming they were masquerading as diplomats.
In response, Rwanda ordered the expulsion of six South African envoys.
The assassination attempt against Nyamwasa occurred on March 3, when armed men raided his home in Johannesburg.
The former army chief was not at home at the time, but his property was ransacked and a computer and some documents were taken.
South African officials say the incident was “the last straw” for the government, following two previous attempts on Nyamwasa’s life in 2010 and the murder of former Rwandan spy chief, Patrick Karegeya last December.
Nyamwasa and Karegeya, both critics of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, co-founded the Rwandan opposition party, National Congress.
Rwanda has denied any involvement in attacks on exiled dissidents living in South Africa.