A woman gave her husband the fright of his life by turning up to her own funeral after he had arranged to have her killed. Balenga Kalala, of Melbourne, paid a team of hitmen £3,500 to take out his wife Noela Rukundo because he thought she was cheating on him.
Kalala, who has lived in Australia since arriving as a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2004, planned to have the mother of his three children murdered as she attended her stepmother’s funeral in Burundi early last year.
But the gunmen didn’t want to kill a woman and knew Ms Rukundo’s brother, so they told her what her husband had done – and even handed over recorded phone conversations and a payment receipt for the blood money.
The hitmen then told Kalala the deed was done, and he informed the family she died in an accident in Africa.
But Ms Rukundo travelled home and went to her own ‘funeral’, waiting as the mourners left before confronting her murderous partner.
“Is it my eyes?” she recalled him saying. “Is it a ghost?” “Surprise! I’m still alive!” she replied.
Kalala touched her shoulder and then began screaming. He initially denied his crime, but Rukundo got him to confess during a phone conversation that was secretly recorded by cops.
“I felt like somebody who had risen again. My situation, my past life? That is gone. I’m starting a new life now. I will stand up like a strong woman.”
Kalala was sentenced to nine years in prison. After Kalala’s conviction, Ms Rukundo’s son Fostin told ABC his mother still lived in fear.
“She works for us, she feeds us, she clothed us and she was doing the same thing for [Kalala].
“I looked at him (in court) but I couldn’t see a man. Because I believe a man would not do something like that,” his son added.