Lesotho's prime minister to be charged with murder of wife: police

Thomas Motsoahae Thabane, Prime Minister of Lesotho addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, US, September 27, 2019.

Lesotho’s prime minister Thomas Thabane is to be charged soon with the murder of his wife, the deputy police commissioner said on Thursday.

Former first lady Lipolelo Thabane was shot dead in June 2017 near her home in Maseru. The prime minister’s current wife was detained this month and charged with ordering the murder.

“The prime minister is going to be charged with the murder. The police are preparing directives and he will probably be charged tomorrow,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Paseka Mokete.

 Death of Lipolelo

Lipolelo Thabane was shot dead in June 2017 near her home.

Police allege Maesaiah Thabane hired eight assassins to kill her but was not present at the shooting.

Maesaiah Thabane, who has denied any involvement in the killing but cannot enter a plea until her trial starts, appeared briefly in court before being driven to Lesotho’s plush state house, where a few dozen supporters wearing the red, yellow and green of her husband’s ABC party greeted her.

Wearing a zebra-print dress with gold trim, a gold-colored neckerchief and a black felt boater hat, she chuckled as they sang: “jealousy is of the soul of the hater,” in the local Soto language, voicing their belief that she is the victim of a plot by political rivals.

Lipolelo, then 58, and Thomas Thabane, now 80, had been going through an acrimonious divorce when she was killed, two days before her husband’s inauguration as prime minister. Thabane and Maesaiah Thabane, now 42, married two months later.

Lesotho’s First Lady Maesaiah Thabane (pictured) has been charged with the murder of prime minister's previous wife.

Her husband, Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has also been questioned over the killing of his estranged wife Lipolelo Thabane. 

Maesaiah was remanded in custody after the murder charge.