Murder she wrote – Lesotho's former first lady arrested over ‘rivalry’ murder
Lesotho’s former first lady Maesaiah Thabane was arrested on Wednesday over the murder of the ex-wife of her husband and former prime minister, Thomas Thabane, police said.
Lesotho’s Appeal Court revoked her bail last week on suspicion that she had breached her bail conditions. Ms Thabane was transferred to court, where she wore a fur coat and black protective anti-coronavirus mask.
The date for a new bail application will be heard on 6th June.
Maesaiah Thabane has been charged with ordering the killing of Lipolelo Thabane, her love rival, who was shot dead near her home in Maseru, Lesotho’s capital, in June 2017.
A few weeks after the crime, she had married Thomas Thabane.
Last week, the Lesotho Court of Appeal overturned the controversial judicial review measures she had enjoyed.
Judge Thamae Thamae told her she will remain in prison and will be reconvened on 16 June 2020.
Maesaiah Thabane, dressed in a tracksuit, brown coat and sneakers, simply replied to the magistrate:
“Yes, I understand”.
Ms. Thabane had already spent a few hours in prison earlier this year before being released on parole in exchange for the payment of a bail of 1,000 maloti (about 50 euros).
After the cancellation of the judicial supervision measures from which Maesaiah Thabane benefited, the police could not immediately proceed with her arrest because she was in neighbouring South Africa with her husband who had come there for treatment.
She was arrested on her return to her country.
The case had caused bad blood between political affiliates in the independent mountain kingdom of 2 million people, encircled by South Africa, before Thomas Thabane resigned as prime minister last month.
Aspersions were cast on the former minister who had vehemently denied any knowledge of the murder.
“I didn’t kill anyone, certainly not my wife,” he said.
It also led to the resignation of 80-year-old Thomas Thabane on 19 May, who was dropped by the coalition that had supported his government for three years.