'Killing' of Lesotho PM Thabane's wife raises instability fears

Cape Town – Social media users have expressed fears of continued political instability in Lesotho following the alleged killing of Lesotho incoming prime minister Tom Thabane's wife, Lipolelo Thabane. 

News emerged late on Wednesday that the estranged wife of Thabane had allegedly been shot dead just two days before the inauguration of her husband in the mountain kingdom.

Although details of the incident remained sketchy, Thabane's daughter Advocate Nkoya Thabane reportedly confirmed the fatal shooting to a Lesotho-based journalist.

It was  not clear what the motive for the shooting was.

Several social media users expressed shock and disbelief over the news of Dipolelo's killing.

See tweets below 

Spokesperson for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Ronnie Mamoepa, told the SABC that there was an attempt on the lives of the Thabane family on Monday. He said that Ramaphosa, who was also the SADC facilitator, would proceed to the mountain kingdom for the inauguration set for Friday.  

"The deputy president is aware of the developments," said Mamoepa, adding that "security forces" would ensure that the inauguration "runs smoothly". 

Lesotho plunged into a political crisis following a failed coup attempt in 2014, prompting Thabane to flee to South Africa, saying he feared for his life.

Thabane returned home early this year with two other opposition leaders, vowing to win back power. 

In March this year, the mountain kingdom again faced a fresh crisis after parliament passed a vote of no confidence in outgoing Prime Minister Pakalithi Mosisili.

This consequently paved way for the June 3 held election which saw Thabane winning 48 out of 120 parliamentary seats.

International Relations and Co-operation Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, warned on Sunday that SADC will not allow any military coup "in any [its] corner".  

"This was made very, very clear to everyone in Lesotho two weeks ago. They have just had an election a year and a half ago and they have also undertaken to go back to the reforms [on the role of the police and the military, which have been supporting leaders from opposing parties] which they themselves say has bedevilled focus on governance," she was quoted as saying.

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