Lesotho’s former Prime Minister to be charged with murder
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By Itumeleng Koleile
Former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane will finally be charged with the murder of his estranged wife Lipolelo Thabane alongside his current wife Maesaih Thabane before the High Court.
This is after the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions filed a Notice of Trial that is intended to indict the former premier Thabane with Lipolelo’s murder.
Director of Public Prosecutions Advocate Hlalefang Motinyane’s office has penciled Thabane’s appearance before court for Tuesday, November 30th.
On February 24th, 2020, the Magistrate Court referred questions on whether a sitting Prime Minister is immune from charges of the alleged murder of his wife Lipolelo to the Constitutional Court.
The Magistrate Court had made the ruling after Thabane’s lawyer Qhalehang Letsika convinced the court that questions on whether a sitting prime minister can be charged criminally must first be answered by a Constitutional Court before his client can be charged.
Then a sitting Prime Minister, Thabane was seemingly clutching on straws and buying time to evade murder charges.
Advocate Letsika argued for the referral of the case to a higher court to decide whether a prime minister enjoys immunity from criminal charges or not.
But, today following the release of the notice for Thabane’s indictment Letsika told KDNews that Thabane was later removed as Prime Minister and it was found that pursuing the question at the constitutional court was not necessary as he was not a sitting Prime Minister anymore.
When he was appearing before the magistrate court today, the expectation was that Thabane would be enjoined as accused number two to First Lady Maesiah Thabane, but this court antic quashed hopes of many naysayers.
Maesiah is the first accused in the assassination of her Sister wife Lipolelo.
Police investigations into the fatal shooting Lipolelo had unearthed usage of the former Prime Minister’s mobile phone to communicate with assassinators.
Lipolelo was killed at the age of 58 on June 14, 2017, at Ha ‘Masana, about 35 kilometers south of Maseru City.
This was on the eve of her husband’s inauguration as prime minister and she was expected to assume the status of the first lady.
Prior to her killing, Lipolelo and Thabane were undergoing a protracted divorce in the courts but remained eligible for the First Lady status until the divorce was finalized.
But her assassination ended the long court battle for divorce and left Thabane open option to take on a new wife.
Which he did on August 26, 2017, hardly three months after Lipolelo’s shocking murder, when he married Liabiloe Ramoholi, named ‘Maesiah Thabane.