Lesotho’s first lady charged with murder over killing of her husband’s estranged wife


Authorities in Lesotho have charged the wife of the country’s prime minister with murder.

First Lady Maesaiah Thabane appeared in court on Wednesday over the killing of prime minister Thomas Thabane’s ex-wife, Lipolelp Thabane. 

Mrs. Thabane handed herself in on Tuesday to be questioned about the killing of the prime minister’s previous wife, the BBC reported. 

Last month Mr. Thabane served notice he would step down. 

“Mr. Thabane has already made known his decision to resign to the cabinet in its seating on Tuesday,” Spokesperson for the ruling party All Basotho Convention (ABC) Montoeli Masoetsa told the AFP news agency.

Court documents have made Mr. Thabane a person of interest in the 2017 murder of his estranged wife. However, the prime minister has not given any reason for his resignation. He is yet to also comment on the allegations.

ABC is expected to announce Mr. Thabane’s replacement after which parliament will approve.

“There is no exact date in place as to when Thabane shall step down but it’s going to be soon,” Masoetsa said.

Last month, the prime minister’s current wife Maesaiah was declared wanted by the police over the murder. Mrs. Thabane handed herself over to the police for questioning on Tuesday.

Mr. Thabane’s ex-wife, Lipolelo, was shot and killed some two days before he was sworn into office in June of 2017. The couple had been involved in a prolonged divorce after separating in 2012.

Mr. Thabane has been cited in investigations after police chief Holomo Molibeli noted that a mobile number belonging to him was phoned from the site of his ex-wife’s murder.

Other government officials have also been linked to the murder, including the minister of water affairs and the government secretary.

“Government cannot be above [the] law,” Communications Minister Thesele Maseribane told reporters in Maseru.

“We would like to see her (Maesaiah Thabane) back home and go to the courts like everybody else.”