A man hires hit men to kill his wife, but the plan misfires and she crashes her funeral. This real-life turn of events has the makings of an excellent movie; perhaps, Tyler Perry will write a script and produce a film on this true story.
Noela Rukundo is a refugee who lives in the city of Melbourne, Australia, but her homeland is Burundi in East Africa. She returned to her homeland to attend her stepmother’s funeral, without her spouse, Balenga Kalala. After the funeral, she felt despondent as she lay in her hotel bed. She received a call of assumed concern from her husband, telling her to go out for fresh air. When she did, she was kidnapped.
She was allegedly led to an unknown location, tied to a chair, and questioned about why someone would want to kill her, noted the BBC.
“What did you do to this man? Why has this man asked us to kill you?”
Rukundo reportedly responded, “Which man? Because I don’t have any problem with anybody.” The hit men told her that her husband had ordered them to kill her, but she was in disbelief, and said, “My husband can’t kill me. You are lying!” Then the men slapped her, called Balenga on the phone, and she heard his voice say, “Kill her.” Noela then fainted. When she came to, there was what some might call a miraculous turn of events. The men told her they weren’t going to kill her because they knew her brother and drew the line at killing women and children. They also called her “stupid” for not knowing that the plan to have her killed had been in the works for two months.
They also allegedly informed Rukundo that they would keep Balenga’s money and tell him that she was dead. They also gave her a cell phone with recordings of phone conversations with Kalala, along with receipts for the $7,000 Australian dollars they had received. This was a two-day ordeal, and they gave her instructions before driving away.
“We just want you to go back, to tell other stupid women like you what happened.”
Meanwhile, the brother, who was back at the hotel, worried. He called his brother-in-law and asked for $545 to start a police investigation, and Kalala pretended that he, too, was concerned and complied. He later told neighbors his wife had died in a tragic accident, the BBC also added.
When Rukundo was freed, she returned to Melbourne with the help of her pastor. She had a plan and set it in motion. Shortly thereafter, she sat outside her home and watched as the final few mourners exited her funeral. She then confronted Kalala with her presence. She said he put his hands on her shoulders to see if she was real and said, “Is it my eyes?” Is it a ghost?” Her response was, “Surprise! I’m still alive.”
He jumped and began screaming, and claimed, “I’m sorry for everything.” Just five days before, he had hired hit men to kill his wife. Kalala denied the allegations, but was found guilty, and sentenced to nine years in prison. His fear was that his wife wanted to leave him for another man, which Chief Justice Marilyn Warren confirmed was false, per the Washington Post.
“Had Ms. Rukundo’s kidnappers completed the job, eight children would have lost their mother. It was premeditated and motivated by unfounded jealousy, anger and a desire to punish Ms. Rukundo.”
Australia: Wife crashes her own funeral: Melbourne: Noela Rukundo sat in a car outside her home in Melbourne,… https://t.co/4SNQLJfCTw
— Australia News Links (@dlAustralianews) February 6, 2016
Five children are from a previous relationship, and Kalala is the father of three. Kalala is also a refugee who escaped a rebel army in the Republic of the Congo who plundered his village, killing his wife and young son. In 2004, he was fortunate enough to receive asylum in Australia. He and Noela met through a mutual social worker at a resettlement agency, and her future husband, who could already speak English, was recruited to translate for Rukundo, whom spoke Swahili.
They married and moved to Kings Park, a Melbourne suburb. Rukundo admittedly knew of her husband’s past and his volatile character, added the Washington Post.
I knew he was a violent man. But I didn’t believe he can kill me…
— Nine News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) December 11, 2015
Since returning to Australia, Rukundo has been mistreated by the Congolese community who believes she should not have gone to the police. She received death threats and her house was broken into. Despite being terrorized by hit men and betrayed by a life partner, she said she is a “strong woman” who’s determined to start a new life.
[Photo via Facebook]