Lesotho’s former first lady arrested in murder case

Maesaiah Thabane, wife of former PM Thomas Thabane, transferred to correctional facility after court revoked her bail.

Former First Lady of Lesotho Maesaiah Thabane (2nd R) leaves the magistrate court in Maseru on June 3, 2020. Lesotho''s former first lady Maesaiah Thabane was June 3, 2020, taken into custody following
Maesaiah Thabane leaves the magistrate court in Maseru [Molise Molise/AFP]

Police in Lesotho have arrested the country’s former first lady over the 2017 murder of the then-estranged wife of recently resigned Prime Minister Thomas Thabane.

Maesaiah Thabane, who was out on bail, is suspected of orchestrating the shooting of Lipolelo Thabane in the capital, Maseru. 

Lesotho’s court of appeal last week revoked her bail on suspicion that the procedure was not followed correctly and ordered her rearrest.

On Wednesday, Maesaiah arrived at the magistrate court in Maseru under the escort of armed police officers. She was told she would be taken to the female correctional facility in fulfilment of the appeals court judgement.

“The decision of the High Court to grant you bail has been set aside by the Court of Appeal,” said the magistrate. “You will remain in the correctional facility. You will report back on June 16, 2020 to find out the progress of your case.”

Thomas, who is yet to be formally charged, is also a suspect in the case. Both Thomas and Maesaiah deny any involvement. 

The former prime minister stepped down in May after months of calls for his resignation over the case.

Lipolelo was murdered in June 2017, just two days before Thomas took office. The couple were in the midst of a divorce when she was shot outside her home. Two months later, Thomas married his current wife.

Lesotho’s former finance minister, Moeketsi Majoro, was sworn in as prime minister on May 20, replacing the octogenarian leader.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies