Lesotho Prime Minister’s Wife Shot Dead

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The estranged wife of Lesotho’s incoming prime minister Thomas Thabane was shot dead on Wednesday night in a village in the outskirts of Maseru.

Reports say Lipolelo Thabane, 58, was about to enter the gate of her home when a gunman opened fire, killing her instantly.

A friend she was with was seriously injured and was reported to be in a critical condition at a local hospital.

No arrests had been made so far.

Lipolelo’s divorce with Thabane was yet to be finalised by the High Court.

Police spokesperson Clifford Molefe confirmed the incident but declined to give more details.

A neighbour said on Monday some unidentified men had banged on Lipolelo’s door until he (the neighbour) called for help.

“They fled when we came out. She reported that incident to the police. We are shocked that she has now been killed,” the neighbour said. This was confirmed by Spokesperson for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Ronnie Mamoepa, told the SABC that there was an attempt on the lives of the Thabane family on Monday.

Mamoepa said that Ramaphosa, who was also the SADC facilitator, would proceed to the mountain kingdom for the inauguration set for Friday.

“The deputy president is aware of the developments,” Mamoepa was quoted as saying, adding that “security forces” would ensure that the inauguration “runs smoothly”.

The incident came two days before Thabane was due to be sworn in as the mountain kingdom’s prime minister for the second time in 28 months.

His All Basotho Convention has cobbled a coalition with three other parties.