Categories: Africa

Lesotho Drops Murder Charges Against Ex-PM

(FILES) 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 on Tuesday dropped murder charges against the country’s former prime minister Thomas Thabane and his wife over the 2017 killing of his previous estranged wife Lipolelo.

Prosecutors told a court hearing in the capital Maseru the decision was taken as they could no longer locate a key witness in the case.

“We have been unable to trace an important witness in this matter and the (Director of Public Prosecutions) has decided to withdraw the charges against the accused,” prosecutor Gareth Lappan told the court.

Thabane, 83, was accused of hiring hitmen to kill Lipolelo in June 2017, two days before the prime minister’s inauguration.

The pair had been embroiled in bitter divorce proceedings.

Both the former premier and his current wife Maesaiah — whom he married two months after Lipolelo was killed — have denied any involvement in the murder.

The killing sparked a political crisis in the mountain kingdom landlocked within South Africa.

Thabane resigned as prime minister in May 2020, giving in to then mounting pressure to step down over the case.

The decision to drop charges came a week after the instability-plagued country announced it will hold general elections in October.

Police accused Thabane of paying assassins a down payment of $24,000 to kill his wife.

Five co-defendants in the trial included 45-year-old Maesaiah, who was controversially granted bail in June 2020, and the four suspected hitmen allegedly hired by Thabane.

Tom Jones Usen

Disqus Comments Loading...
Published by
Tom Jones Usen

Recent Posts

‘I’ll Be Back Stronger,’ Says Amusan After 100m World Title Defeat

Amusan hopes to get her "medal" back next year.

3 hours ago

Man City Swoop For Belgian Winger Doku

Doku, 21, will reportedly cost the European champions £55 million ($70 million).

4 hours ago

Tribunal Sacks Lagos LP Rep Sowunmi, Declares APC’s Ogunyemi Winner

The tribunal agreed with the petitioner that the candidate of the Labour Party was not…

4 hours ago

Jamaica’s Williams Beats Amusan To Women’s 100m Hurdles World Title

Amusan and 2019 winner Nia Ali were never in the hunt, finishing sixth and last…

5 hours ago

NNPP Suspends Founding Member Aniebonam, Publicity Secretary Agbo

The party said the suspension of the duo was with immediate effect pending the outcome…

5 hours ago

Maduka Okoye Joins Udinese From Watford

The club made the announcement on its website on Thursday, describing Okoye as a goalkeeper…

5 hours ago