Lesotho former first lady sent back to prison over murder of rival (Photos)

Bayo Ajibola

The wife of former Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, who was charged with the murder of her husband’s first wife, returned to prison on Wednesday after the court annulled her judicial review. 

Maesaiah Thabane, 43, was charged back in February for her involvement in the 2017 murder of Lipolelo Thabane, the first wife of Thomas Thabane. She spent one night in jail before a High Court freed her on a 1,000 maloti ($57) bail.

Lipolelo was shot by gunmen shortly before her estranged husband’s inauguration as the Prime Minister and weeks before he married Maesaiah in 2017. 

The former couple were separated and had been pursuing a divorce before her death.

Last week Friday, the Lesotho Court of Appeal overturned the controversial judicial supervision measures she had enjoyed after she was granted bail in the case. 

After the ruling, the police could not immediately arrest her because she was in South Africa with her husband who had travelled to the neighboring country for treatment.

On Wednesday she arrived at the magistrate court in Maseru under the escort of armed police officers.

Lesotho former first lady sent back to prison over murder of rival (Photos)

Judge Thamae Thamae told her she will remain in prison and will be reconvened on 16 June 2020.

“The decision of the High Court to grant you bail has been set aside by the Court of Appeal,” said the magistrate.

“You will remain in the correctional facility. You will report back on 16 June 2020 to find out the progress of your case.”

After her appearance in court, Police officers immediately whisked her away. 

The murder of Lipolelo Thabane, also led to the resignation of 80-year-old Thomas Thabane on 19 May over his alleged involvement in her death. 

Back in Febuary, authorities also wanted to charge him but he asked the Constitutional Court to stop the courts from trying him for the crime while he remained in office. 

Bayo Ajibola

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