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Lesotho’s First Lady facing charges of murdering Prime Minister’s first wife

Lesotho’s First Lady facing charges of murdering Prime Minister’s first wife


The wife of the prime minister of Lesotho is to be charged with murdering his previous wife.

First Lady Maesaiah Thabane handed herself in to be questioned by police in the southern African mountain kingdom. Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has also been questioned about the killing. His estranged wife, Lipolelo Thabane, was shot dead outside her home in the capital Maseru two days before his inauguration in 2017. The couple were involved in bitter divorce proceedings at the time.

What was the murder mystery?

Lipolelo Thabane was killed just two days before Mr Thabane was sworn in as prime minister in June 2017. The 58-year-old had been living apart from her husband since 2012. One evening while returning home, she was ambushed, shot several times at close range and died on the side of a road. The murder shocked the nation. Mr Thabane described it as a “senseless killing” in his inauguration speech. Initially, unknown armed men were blamed for the murder, but new evidence filed in court papers surfaced in early January.

The evidence, seen by AFP news agency, included a copy of a letter that the police chief wrote to Mr Thabane. The letter, dated 23 December 2019, read: “The investigations reveal that there was a telephonic communication at the scene of the crime in question… with another cell phone. The cell phone number belongs to you.”


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