Categories: World News

Ex-Lesotho PM Paid Killers $24,000 To Murder Estranged Wife – Police

In this file photo taken on August 19, 2017, Prime Minister of Lesotho, Thomas Motsoahae Thabane is seated at the Opening Session of the 37th Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit of Heads of State and Government at the OR Tambo Building in Pretoria. Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, who was due to be charged with the murder of his estranged wife, failed to appear in court on medical grounds on February 21, 2020.
GULSHAN KHAN / AFP

 

Lesotho’s former prime minister Thomas Thabane and his wife paid assassins a down payment of $24,000 to kill his estranged wife Lipolelo three years ago, according to a police affidavit seen on Wednesday.

The details were the latest twist in a scandal that has rocked the southern African state and prompted Thabane to resign last month under pressure over accusations he hampered the investigation.

Thabane and his then-wife Lipolelo Thabane, 58, were in the middle of a bitter divorce when she was shot and killed outside her home two days before her husband’s 2017 inauguration.

Thabane has not yet been charged, but the police said he was involved in the plot to kill Lipolelo using hired killers and his wife Maesaiah is in custody accused of murder.

In an affidavit filed on Tuesday but seen by AFP on Wednesday, Deputy Commissioner of Police Paseka Mokete said Thabane and Maesaiah “wanted the deceased dead so that (Maesaiah) …could assume the position of First Lady”.

Ex-premier “Thabane physically pointed out the residence of the deceased to his co-accused,” Mokete said.

Police have said they found Thabane’s mobile number in communications records from the crime scene.

Thabane has denied involvement in the murder. He married Maesaiah two months after the death of Lipolelo.

The police commissioner said the couple had promised to pay the killers the equivalent of $179,485, which was to be paid in instalments.

“They would be remunerated in cash… and through employment opportunities, should they carry out the murder of the deceased prior to (Thabane’s) inauguration as prime minister,” Mokete said.

Initial payments totalling 400,000 maloti ($23,931) were made after Lipolelo’s assassination on 14 June 2017, police said.

A first attempt to kill Lipolelo failed on 12 June 2017, police said.

One of the accused killers has since turned state witness.

Maesaiah, 43, was charged with murder in February and spent half a night in jail before a High Court freed her on a 1,000 maloti ($57) bail.

She returned to custody last week after a court revoked bail. She applied for fresh bail on Thursday and a hearing is scheduled for 16 June.

In the application, she sought release to allow her to take care of her “critically ill” husband who has “been diagnosed with an advanced prostate cancer” for which he underwent an operation in South Africa on 29 May 2020.

Police oppose the bail application.

Rejoice Ewodage

Disqus Comments Loading...

Recent Posts

  • Headlines

BREAKING: Nigeria Records 490 New Cases Of COVID-19, 31 More Deaths

  The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday said Nigeria has recorded 490 new cases of the novel…

6 hours ago
  • Headlines

Sen. Ajimobi To Serve As Acting APC National Chairman After Oshiomhole Suspension Verdict

  The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday elevated Sen. Abiola Ajimobi to serve as its acting National Chairman after…

6 hours ago
  • World News

Beijing Airports Cancel 1,255 Flights Over Virus Fears

Beijing cancelled at least 1,255 inbound and outbound flights on Wednesday, representing nearly 70 per cent of all services, the…

7 hours ago
  • Crime Watch
  • Local

EFCC Busts Famous Skit Maker, Four Others Over Internet Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Lagos Zonal Office, has arrested five persons for their alleged involvement in internet-related…

7 hours ago
  • Africa

Uganda Plans Elections In Early 2021 But No Rallies

  Uganda's election commission on Tuesday published a roadmap for presidential and legislative elections in early 2021, assuaging fears the…

7 hours ago
  • Sports

Bayern Clinch Eighth Straight Bundesliga Title

  Bayern Munich secured their eighth straight Bundesliga title on Tuesday as Robert Lewandowski's first-half volley saw them claim a…

8 hours ago