Skip to main content

Woman Crashes Her Own Funeral After Husband Hired Hitmen: ‘Surprise, I’m Alive!’


abc australiaA group of gunmen was hired to kill Noela Rukundo by her husband, but the attack apparently didn’t go as planned. She survived unbeknownst to her husband Balenga Kalala, who had already planned her funeral. As all the mourners left, Rukondo decided to surprise her husband, according to a new interview with the BBC.

“When I get out the car, he saw me straight away. He put his hands on his head and said, ‘Is it my eyes? It is a ghost?” she told the television station, “Surprise! I’m still alive.” Her ordeal started in  Burundi, East Africa, where she basically convinced the men, who had been hired to kidnap and kill her, to set her free.

Hear her recording from The Washington Post:

“We give you 80 hours to leave this country,” Noela told the BBC what the hired hitmen told her. “Your husband is serious. Maybe we can spare your life, but other people, they’re not doing the same thing. If God helps you, you’ll get to Australia.”

Rukundo was living in Australia at the time. Her husband, Balenga Kalala, pleaded guilty last December to incitement to murder, and was sentenced to nine years in prison. During a police interview, Kalala denied any involvement, but he became emotional when he was presented with a phone recording.

[h/t BBC and screengrab via ABC Australia]

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Law&Crime:

Rachel Stockman is President of Law&Crime which includes Law&Crime Productions, Law&Crime Network and Under her watch, the company has grown from just a handful of people to a robust production company and network producing dozens of true crime shows a year in partnership with major networks. She also currently serves as Executive Producer of Court Cam, a hit show on A&E, and I Survived a Crime, a new crime show premiering on A&E this fall. She also oversees production of a new daily syndicated show Law&Crime Daily, which is produced in conjunction with Litton Entertainment. In addition to these shows, her network and production company produce programs for Facebook Watch, Cineflix and others. She has spent years covering courts and legal issues, and was named Atlanta Press Club's 'Rising Star' in 2014. Rachel graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and Yale Law School.