Noela Rukundo-The Woman Who Attended Her Own Funeral, horrifying her husband, who had paid to have her killed

In 2004, Noela Rukundo emigrated from Burundi to Australia with her five children. There, she met Balenga Kalala, a Congolese refugee who taught Rukundo Swahili at the resettlement agency for which they both worked. Rukundo and Kalala would settle in Melbourne, marry, and have three children over the next decade. In 2015, however, Kalala grew persuaded that Rukundo was unfaithful to him.

In January 2015, when Rukundo returned to Burundi to attend the funeral of her stepmother, Kalala decided to take revenge for his wife’s supposed transgressions.

Rukundo was exhausted and upset on February 17, 2015, the evening after her stepmother’s memorial service. The funeral left her emotionally tired, and the African heat was terrible even indoors.

As she attempted to slumber, Kalala called to inquire about her well-being. He consoled her before advising her to stroll outdoors for some fresh air. She chose to follow his advice.

“I didn’t think anything. I just thought that he cared about me, that he was worried about me,” Noela Rukundo later told BBC.

Immediately after she left the hotel, an armed man approached her.

“I opened the gate and I saw a man coming towards me. Then he pointed the gun on me,” Rukundo recalled. “He just told me, ‘Don’t scream. If you start screaming, I will shoot you. They’re going to catch me, but you? You will already be dead.’”

Rukundo followed his instructions. The gunman told her to get into a car, where two other people were waiting for her. “I was sitting between two men,” she remembered. “One had a small gun, one had a long gun. And the men say to the driver, ‘Pass us a scarf.’”

They covered Rukundo’s face with the fabric and drove off. “After that, I didn’t say anything… I was taken somewhere, 30 to 40 minutes, then I hear the car stop.”

Noela Rukundo was pushed into a building and tied to a chair by the gunmen. She overheard one of her captors say to another, “Call the boss!” They asked her what she had done to provoke a man’s desire to kill her. She responded, “Who is he?” Because I have no conflicts with anyone.”

“Let me call who has paid us to kill you,” one of the gunmen said. He picked up the phone and told the man on the other end of the line, “We already have her.” Then Rukundo heard her husband’s voice reply: “Kill her.”

Noela Rukundo passed unconscious as they described to Kalala where they were going to dispose of her remains.

The Most Unexpected Twist

As the hitmen ended the call with her husband, Noela Rukundo regained her consciousness. “I told myself that I was already gone. “There is nothing I can do to save myself,” she recalled.

Nevertheless, something utterly unexpected happened. The kidnappers told her, “We will not kill you. We don’t kill women and children.”

According to the Washington Post, the group also knew Rukundo’s brother.

However, the gang’s commander continued to demand more money from Kalala, so they notified Rukundo’s husband that the price for murder had increased. They needed an additional $3,400 in Australian dollars in order to execute the hit job, bringing the total cost to over $10,000.

Before releasing her on the side of the road, they held Rukundo imprisoned for two days. They provided her with incriminating evidence, such as a memory card containing recorded phone conversations and Western Union money transfer records proving that Kalala organized the hit.

“We give you 80 hours to leave this country,” the men told Rukundo. “Your husband is serious”. Maybe we can spare your life, but other people, they’re not going to do the same thing.”

All the while, Kalala believed his wife was dead . He told family and friends that Rukundo was killed in a tragic accident while she was away. The African community in Melbourne provided spiritual and financial support to Kalala.

But Noela Rukundo was indeed alive.

Rukundo’s Return To Australia

Even though it was the middle of the night in Australia, Rukundo called her pastor in Melbourne immediately for assistance. She also sought aid from the Kenyan and Belgian embassies to return to Australia. On February 22, 2015, she returned to Melbourne and went straight home to confront Kalala.

At 7:30 p.m., she observed Kalala escorting guests to their vehicles following the memorial service he held for his allegedly deceased wife. After the guests had departed, Rukundo appeared. She stared at her husband, who was horrified and understandably bewildered.

He couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw her

“Is it my eyes? Is it a ghost?” he said.

“He didn’t believe it,” Rukundo later recalled. “Then he starts walking towards me, slowly, like he was walking on broken glass… He kept talking to himself and when he reached me, he touched me on the shoulder. He jumped. He did it again. He jumped. Then he said, ‘Noela, is it you?’ Then he starts screaming, ‘I’m sorry for everything.’”

Rukundo simply replied, “Surprise! I’m still alive.”

She contacted the police next. Kalala initially denied any involvement in the murder plot. In addition to the evidence Rukundo brought from Burundi, police later wire-tapped a phone conversation in which Kalala confessed his crime to Rukundo.

Kalala pled guilty in court to one count of inciting to murder. “Sometimes the devil can convince someone to do something, but after they do it, they begin to question why they did it.” Kalala pleaded.

Balenga Kalala was given a nine-year sentence with parole eligibility after six years.

Remarkably, Noela Rukundo feels no malice against her husband. “He is a human being. “I forgive him from the bottom of my heart,” she told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.


Recommended For You


About the Author: admin