Lesotho’s first lady Maesaiah Thabane to be charged with murder of husband’s ex-wife

Maesaiah Thabane hands herself in to police in Maseru more than a month after fleeing the country.

Lesotho’s first lady is set to be charged with murder in connection with the 2017 killing of her husband’s ex-wife.

Maesaiah Thabane, who fled the country on 10 January to escape arrest, returned to the African kingdom on Tuesday afternoon and handed herself in to police in the capital Maseru.

Officials said she had been hiding in neighbouring South Africa.

Deputy commissioner of police Mokete Paseka said Thabane would be kept in custody and taken to court once the director of public prosecutions has prepared the charge sheet.

Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Motsoahae Thabane addresses the 73rd session of the General Assembly at the United Nations in New York on September 28, 2018.
Outgoing prime minister Thomas Thabane was questioned by police two weeks ago

An arrest warrant for the first lady was issued the day she fled the country after refusing to report to police for questioning in connection with the death of Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s former wife Lipolelo.

The killing occurred two days before the prime minister’s inauguration for a second term, and two years after a court ruled that Lipolelo was the lawful first lady and entitled to benefits.

Mr Thabane married his current wife some two months after Lipolelo’s death.

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Two weeks ago, police interrogated the prime minister over the alleged use of his mobile phone to communicate with whoever was at the scene of the killing.

The 80-year-old prime minister last month announced he planned to step down as his ruling party said he was no longer fit to lead the southern African nation.

He did not specify when he would resign, adding it would occur “when all is in order”.