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Fugitive ex-first lady blamed for political turmoil

Publish date: 20 January 2020
Issue Number: 856
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Lesotho

Politicians in Lesotho’s ruling party are blaming former First Lady Maesaiah Thabane for the political turmoil in the landlocked country. As previously reported in Legalbrief Today, Thomas Thabane on Thursday bowed to pressure to step down over evidence allegedly linking him to the murder of his estranged wife Lipolelo. This follows accusations by senior members of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) party that Thabane was hampering investigations into the killing. Unidentified attackers in 2017 shot dead Lipolelo on the outskirts of Maseru, two days before her husband's inauguration. Police have been unable to trace Thabane's current wife since she failed to appear for questioning two weeks ago. ‘She's the cause of the house falling apart. The Prime Minister ... has allowed her to interfere everywhere,’ ABC spokesperson Montoeli Masoetsa reportedly told the Sunday Times. Police suspect Maesaiah was behind the killing and she is now on the run. Thabane's daughter Nkoya Hlaele said Maesaiah's disappearance was telling. ‘If it were me, this would be a perfect opportunity to exonerate yourself,’ she said. The police are considering roping in international agencies to be on the lookout for the fugitive. ‘She cannot be above the law. We would like to see her back home and go to the courts,’ said government spokesperson Thesele Maseribane.

Full Sunday Times report (subscription needed)