Lesotho PM's wife Maesaiah Thabane faces murder charge

Elias Hubbard
February 5, 2020

Prime Minister Thabane and Maesaiah were married a few months later.

Lesotho's first lady Maesaiah Thabane has on Tuesday been charged with the murder and attempted murder of Prime Minister Thomas Thabane's estranged wife Lipolelo.

Earlier First Lady Maesaiah Thabane handed herself in to be questioned by police in the southern African mountain kingdom.

Officials said Tuesday that the wanted woman had been hiding out in South Africa - which surrounds the small African nation of Lesotho - since she failed to appear for questioning on January 10.

Confirming the case, Deputy Police Commissioner, Paseka Mokete, noted that there was a "strong case" against the first lady and that investigations had been "satisfactorily completed".

Police say Maesaiah Thabane will be charged with murder in connection with 2017 killing of prime minister's ex-wife.

Lipolelo Thabane, was killed outside her home in the capital Maseru two days before his inauguration in 2017 as ambushed, shot several times at close range and died on the side of a road.

But his current wife vanished when the police called her in to testify, prompting the issuing of an arrest warrant. She returned following negotiations between her lawyers and law enforcement, police officials told AFP.

The prime minister last month said he would leave office on the grounds of old age but gave no time frame for his departure. The premier did not specify when he would resign, only saying it would occur "when all is in order". He has also been questioned by the police over the killing.

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