Lesotho former first lady Maesaiah Thabane arrested in murder case

Lesotho’s former first lady, Maesaiah Thabane, was arrested on Wednesday over the murder of the previous wife of her husband and former prime minister, Thomas Thabane, police said.

Thomas Thabane's 58-year-old wife Lilopelo was gunned down outside her home in the capital Maseru in June 2017, just two days before he took office, following a bitter divorce battle. Sitting alongside the premier at his inauguration was Maesaiah Thabane, 42, who he married two months later. She was charged with murder earlier this month.
Thomas Thabane’s 58-year-old wife Lilopelo (centre) was gunned down outside her home in the capital Maseru in June 2017, just two days before he took office, following a bitter divorce battle.

Lesotho’s Appeal Court revoked her bail last week on suspicion that procedure was not followed correctly when her bail was granted.

Thabane was transferred to court, where she wore a fur coat and black protective anti-coronavirus mask, a Reuters witness said.

The date for a new bail application was set as June 6.

Maesaiah Thabane has been charged with ordering the killing of Lipolelo Thabane, her love rival, who was shot dead near her home in Lesotho’s capital, Maseru, in June, 2017. Maesaiah Thabane was released on bail in February.

Lipolelo was estranged from Thomas Thabane at the time of the murder.

The case had been causing growing political instability in the independent mountain kingdom of 2 million people encircled by South Africa before Thomas Thabane resigned as prime minister last month.

He is also a suspect in the murder. He denies any involvement and has yet to be formally charged. Reuters