Lesotho’s prime minister to be charged with ex-wife’s murder

Lesotho’s Prime Minister Thomas Thabane will be charged with the killing of his estranged wife, the deputy police commissioner has said.

The prime minister will appear at the Maseru Magistrates Court on Friday “to face a murder charge in connection with the killing of Lipolelo Thabane”, Deputy Commissioner of Police Paseka Mokete said on Thursday.

The 80-year-old Thabane took to the radio to announce he would step down at the end of July but chose not to mention the murder case. He cited old age as a reason for quitting as leader of the tiny, mountainous territory encircled by South Africa.

“I have served my country diligently,” Thabane said. “I’ve worked for a peaceful and stable Lesotho. Today … at my age, I have lost most of my energy … I hereby retire as prime minister with effect from the end of July.”

Thabane had been under mounting pressure over the death of former First Lady Lipolelo, who was shot dead in June 2017 near her home in the capital, Maseru, two days before he took office.

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