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
Tags: Lesotho Thomas Thabane

Recent Posts

  • Russia invades Ukraine

Biden, Macron Pledge To Support Ukraine’s Fight ‘As Long As It Takes’

US President Joe Biden and visiting French leader Emmanuel Macron declared Thursday that they would not let up on support…

10 hours ago
  • Local

Nigeria Yet To Realise Its Expectations From The World, Says Obasanjo

  Nigeria is yet to realize its expectations from world leaders at independence in 1960, and the country has also…

10 hours ago
  • Qatar 2022
  • Sports

Japan Stun Spain To Make Knockouts As Germany Crash Out

  Spain staggered through to the World Cup last 16 on Thursday despite a 2-1 defeat by Japan, who remarkably…

10 hours ago
  • Local

Osun Govt Accuses Oyetola Of Leaving N76bn Debt

  The Osun State Government has accused the administration of Gboyega Oyetola of accruing debts in pensions and salaries to…

11 hours ago
  • Politics

Unlike Atiku, Tinubu Has Many Controversies Surrounding Him – Dino Melaye

  A spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Council, Senator Dino Melaye, has claimed that everything surrounding…

11 hours ago
  • Headlines

Ogun Labour Party Expels Doyin Okupe, Others

  The Ogun State chapter of the Labour Party has expelled the party's Director General of the Presidential Campaign Council,…

12 hours ago