The first lady of Lesotho, Maesaiah Thabane, has been charged with murder after she allegedly shot and killed her husband’s former wife, Lipolelo Thabane, according to multiple reports.
Maesaiah Thabane was accused of being the mastermind behind the killing of Lipolelo Thabane and the attempted murder of family friend Thato Sibolla, according to the BBC. Sibolla survived the attack, and is set to play a key role in the court hearing.
Two days before Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s inauguration in June 2017, Lipolelo Thabane was found shot outside her house in capital Maseru. According to the BBC, Lipolelo Thabane was ambushed and shot several times at close range, then left to die on the side of the road.
Initially, it was believed that Lipolelo Thabane was attacked by armed men, but new evidence suggests that might not be the case. According to an earlier report by the BBC, police discovered that there was a cellphone call from the scene of the crime to the prime minister’s number.
After First Lady Maesaiah Thabane failed to show up for questioning when asked by the authorities, a warrant for her arrest was issued. The first lady was not seen for several days, and no one knew where she was. The prime minister also did not disclose the location of his wife and avoided questions regarding where she might be.
Maesaiah turned herself in for questioning on the morning of Feb. 4, after arranging it between her lawyers and police, according to the BBC.
Prime Minister Thomas Thabane was also questioned by police, and authorities will be looking into whether the prime minister had any role in the killing of his former wife.
Maesaiah Thabane was reportedly hiding out in South Africa, which surrounds the small country of Lesotho.
Lipolelo Thabane was living away from the prime minister at time she was killed as they were going through a divorce, according to the earlier report by BBC. Thomas Thabane was living with Maesaiah at the time, but without the divorce Lipolelo Thabane would still be recognized as the official first lady of Lesotho.
The divorce was reportedly never finalized.