Lesotho PM fails to appear for murder charge on medical grounds, says aide

In this file photo taken May 31, 2017 Lesotho political party All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader, former Prime Minister and General Elections candidate Tom Thabane gives an interview to Agence France-Presse at his residence in Maseru. — AFP pic
In this file photo taken May 31, 2017 Lesotho political party All Basotho Convention (ABC) leader, former Prime Minister and General Elections candidate Tom Thabane gives an interview to Agence France-Presse at his residence in Maseru. — AFP pic

MASERU (Lesotho), Feb 21 — Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, who was due to be charged with the murder of his estranged wife, failed to appear in court today on medical grounds, an aide said.

“He is not attending court, he has gone for a medical check up in South Africa,” his personal secretary Thabo Thakalekoala told AFP, adding it is a “routine” medical check.

Thabane left the mountainous kingdom of Lesotho yesterday, the same day that police announced he was due today to appear before a magistrate for murder charges to be formally read out to him.

Earlier today the PM had announced on the state broadcaster that he would quit office by the end of July due to old age.

The 80-year-old is accused of having acted “in common purpose” in the June 2017 killing by unknown assailants of Lilopelo Thabane, 58, then his wife.

The killing occurred two days before the premier took the oath of office following elections.

His current wife Maesaiah Thabane, 42, who he married two months after Lipolelo’s death, has also been charged with the same murder of her rival.

The death shook the landlocked kingdom of Lesotho, which is entirely surrounded by South Africa.

In his inaugural speech, Thabane described his wife’s murder as a “senseless killing”. — AFP

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