Lesotho First Lady, Maesaiah Thabane arrested & charged for murdering her husband’s ex-wife

The wife of the prime minister of Lesotho is to be formally charged in court with murdering the minister’s former wife his previous wife.

First Lady Maesaiah Thabane submitted herself to the police in the southern African mountain kingdom for questioning. Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has also been questioned about the killing as well.

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Lipolelo Thabane, the former wife was shot dead outside her home in the capital Maseru two days before the prime minister’s inauguration in 2017. The former couples were in bitter divorce proceedings back then.

The murder was initially blamed on unidentified armed men, but recent development from the country’s police commissioner, Holomo Molibeli, have raised further questions.

An arrest warrant was issued for 42-year-old Maesaiah Thabane on 10 January but she disappeared without a trace.

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She was “picked from the border” with South Africa on Tuesday after an arrangement between her lawyers and police, police spokesman Mpiti Mopeli informed AFP news agency.

Lipolelo Thabane, 58, had been living apart from her husband since 2012. One evening in June 2017 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.

Wearing a bright orange dress, the first lady cast a lonely figure in the dock as the magistrate read out the charges against her.

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After nearly a month on the run – the law finally caught up with Maesaiah Thabane.

She is accused of masterminding the assassination of the prime minister’s estranged wife, Lipolelo Thabane, and the attempted murder of a family friend Thato Sibolla.

They were ambushed in the outskirts of Maseru, a stones-throw away from Lipolelo Thabane’s home. The two were shot several times. Lipolelo Thabane died on the scene, but Ms Sibolla survived the shooting and is expected to play a pivotal role in the state’s case against the first lady.

For years, there was mystery around the attack but last month the police revealed they suspected that the prime minister and his wife were involved.

The prime minister was also taken in for questioning after police linked a call made at the crime scene to his mobile. He has not been charged.

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