Lesotho first lady granted bail over murder charge

2020-02-05 19:05
Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane (C), and his wife Maesaiah Thabane (L), and Lesotho King Letsie III (R) during Thabane's inauguration on June 16, 2017 in Maseru.

Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane (C), and his wife Maesaiah Thabane (L), and Lesotho King Letsie III (R) during Thabane's inauguration on June 16, 2017 in Maseru. (SAMSON MOTIKOE )

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lesotho's first lady was released on bail on Wednesday after she was detained overnight and charged with murder over the killing of her husband's estranged wife.

Maesaiah Thabane, 42, had been placed in custody after turning herself in on Tuesday, ending a weeks-long disappearance.

She was charged after police quizzed her on the brutal murder of Prime Minister Thomas Thabane's wife two days before his inauguration in June 2017.

The couple had been embroiled in bitter divorce proceedings when Lipolelo Thabane was gunned down in front of her home in the capital Maseru.

Thomas Thabane agreed to step down last month after police linked his mobile number to communication records from the day of the crime. He has not yet given a timeline for his resignation.

His wife made a first appearance before Lesotho's magistrate court on Wednesday after spending the night in jail.

The magistrate court freed her on a 1 000 maloti (61 euros) bail.

In court, Maesaiah Thabane stood in a traditional pink dress before a roomful of opponents and sympathisers, listening as the magistrate read out her rights.

Her husband did not attend the hearing.

The first lady is suspected of orchestrating the shooting. Police have also charged her for the attempted murder of Lipolelo Thabane's friend Thato Sibolla, who was wounded at the scene.

She has yet to comment on the allegations.

The murder of the 48-year old future first lady shocked the tiny mountainous kingdom of Lesotho, which is entirely surrounded by South Africa.

Senior members of the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) have accused the prime minister of hampering investigations into the killing and pressured him to resign.

He showed up for questioning last month - shortly after his wife was summoned by the police and went into hiding

Read more on:    thomas thabane  |  maesaiah thabane  |  lesotho  |  southern africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.