| 19 April 2024, Friday |

Charges dropped against Lesotho ex-PM Thabane over murder of estranged wife

The accusations against former prime minister Thomas Thabane and his wife Maesaiah Thabane in the five years ago murder of his estranged wife have been dismissed, according to Lesotho’s director of public prosecutions, who announced the decision on Tuesday.

Lipolelo Thabane was shot dead close to her home in the capital city of Maseru in June 2017 only days before he was sworn in as premier. The two were charged with her murder.

Maesaiah Thabane, 44, and the former premier, now 83, were both present in the High Court on Tuesday when a lawyer representing the director of public prosecutions said the charges against them were dropped due to the inability to locate critical witnesses in the matter.

They have both denied involvement in the killing.

Police allege that Maesaiah was not present at the shooting but had hired eight assassins to kill Lipolelo, who was going through a messy divorce at the time of her death.

The high-profile case garnered widespread attention, ultimately leading to Thabane’s resignation as prime minister due to political pressure in 2020.

  • Reuters