The murder case against Lesotho‘s First Lady, Maesaiah Thabane has been postponed to next month. The state asked the Magistrate Court in Maseru for the postponement in order to complete their investigation.
This murder case has gripped the mountain kingdom. The small magistrate court in the capital city was packed to the rafters. Many in the gallery were there to show support for Thabane. They say she is a caring woman who is being targeted politically.
The ruling party, ABC, has been struggling with internal factions and the murder case has worsened matters.
Lipolelo Thabane was shot dead in June 2017 near her home in Maseru, the capital of the tiny independent kingdom, which lies in the middle of a South African mountain range.
Police allege Maesaiah Thabane hired eight assassins to kill her but was not present at the shooting.
Maesaiah Thabane, who has denied any involvement in the killing but cannot enter a plea until her trial starts, appeared briefly in court before being driven to Lesotho’s plush statehouse, where a few dozen supporters wearing the red, yellow and green of her husband’s ABC party greeted her.
Wearing a zebra-print dress with gold trim, a gold-colored neckerchief and a black felt boater hat, she chuckled as they sang: “Jealousy is of the soul of the hater,” in the local Sotho language, voicing their belief that she is the victim of a plot by political rivals.
Lipolelo, then 58, and Thomas Thabane, now 80, had been going through an acrimonious divorce when she was killed, two days before her husband’s inauguration as prime minister.
Thabane and Maesaiah Thabane, now 42, married two months later.-Additional reporting by Reuters
Note: The headline in this article was modified on Wednesday 19 February 2020.