Resigned Prime Minister Lesotho charged in wifes murder

The former Prime Minister of Lesotho has been officially charged with the murder of his wife in 2017, and 82-year-old Thomas Thabane was told at a closed-door session at the Lesotho Supreme Court. In addition, his current wife was also present, who was previously indicted for involvement in the murder.

Lipolela Thabane was shot dead in her car near her home in 2017. That was two days before her husband became Prime Minister of the State in Southern Africa for the second time. At the time of the murder, the two were in divorce. A few months later, Thomas Thabane married his current wife Maesaiah.

Maesaiah had been in a relationship with Thabane for years. During his first premiership in 2015, she served as an unofficial First Lady. For example, Thabane took her on state visits while he was still married to Lipolela. He did not want to give up the title First Lady and its financial benefits as long as they were not officially divorced yet.

Stepped up

Maesaiah was officially charged last year. Stories about Thabanes role in his wifes death have been circulating since last year. A local police chief revealed that the Prime Ministers phone had been called from the scene of the murder.

In May 2020, Thabane stepped up as Prime Minister. His age was the reason for that, he said when he announced his decision. At that time, both his own party and the opposition had been urged for his departure for months because of the allegations.

Thabane and his wife have always denied being involved in the murder. The hearing of the lawsuit will take place next March.