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Cablegate: Opposition Figure Leaves South African Embassy

VZCZCXRO8166
PP RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1270 2231411
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 111411Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4580
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS KINSHASA 001270

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KDEM CG
SUBJECT: OPPOSITION FIGURE LEAVES SOUTH AFRICAN EMBASSY

REFUGE TO VOTE

REF: A. KINSHASA 381
B. KINSHASA 44

1. (SBU) Pastor Theodore Ngoy, a minor opposition figure
who was jailed December 31 for "offending the president"
(reftel A) and later "escaped" to the South African Embassy
in Kinshasa where he took up residence March 2 (reftel B),
finally left the embassy on July 30. Ngoy said the South
African authorities had received assurances from the GDRC
that he would be allowed to vote, as well as to campaign for
provincial office in October's elections. Note: Ngoy voted
without incident in the national elections on July 30. End
note.)

2. (SBU) In a published letter to local newspapers, Ngoy
said that, in his opinion as an attorney, the court that had
tried him for "offending the president" no longer had
jurisdiction after the February 18 promulgation of the new
DRC Constitution. (Comment: This leaves open the question
of why he sought refuge in the South African Embassy two
weeks later, on March 2. End comment.) He claimed the
Minister of Justice concurred with his legal opinion and
therefore he, Ngoy, felt safe "returning" to the DRC to vote
and campaign.

3. (SBU) Comment: A politically clumsy arrest in the
post-referendum environment, followed by a five-month sojourn
with the South Africans, appears to have ended peacefully.
Ngoy, a vocal opposition gadfly, will no doubt seek the
spotlight again once the campaign for provincial deputies
opens. End comment.
MEECE

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