First lady charged with murder, granted bail

First lady charged with murder, granted bail

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 6:19 pm

Maesaiah Thabane,

The first lady of Lesotho, Maesaiah Thabane, was on Wednesday charged with murder over the fatal shooting of her husband’s previous wife in 2017.

Maesaiah, who is married to Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, had been in hiding since mid-January after police called her in for questioning over the killing of Lipolelo Thabane.

On Tuesday, Thabane turned herself in and appeared in court on Wednesday in handcuffs and under heavy police guard.

The court remanded her into custody, but her lawyer filed an urgent bail application.

Lesotho acting Chief Justice Maseforo Mahase granted her bail of 1,000 loti (68 dollars) on Wednesday afternoon.

Deputy police commissioner Paseka Mokete had said previously that the police would object to any bail application because she had fled the country.

The prime minister’s previous wife was killed in June 2017.

Maesaiah married the prime minister shortly after the death of Lipolelo, and right before he began his second term in office in the small African kingdom.

The prime minister and Lipolelo had been in a drawn-out divorce battle while he was already in a relationship with Maesaiah.

The two women battled each other in court over who should be the legitimate first lady, with the judge ruling in favour of Lipolelo.

Maesaiah has also been charged with the attempted murder of the woman who was travelling with Lipolelo when she was shot dead. (dpa/NAN)

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