Lesotho PM Thabane officially resigns following murder scandal

Former Prime Minister of Lesotho, Thomas Motsoahae Thabane, resigned. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
FILE PHOTO: Thomas Motsoahae Thabane, Prime Minister of Lesotho. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane officially resigned following months of intense pressure to do so over his alleged involvement in the murder of his former wife.

Thabane made the announcement during a TV address according to a report by AFP.

On Monday, Thabane told supporters in his Abia home constituency that he would step down; however, he did not state the exact date. He added that he hoped that he would remain the leader of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) party for the time being.

Last week, Thabane’s coalition in parliament was broken up in parliament and he had been expected to resign on May 22, when a new government is due to be installed.

In February, the ABC spokesman Montoeli Masoetsa said that Thabane’s resignation was no longer an issue about waiting for him to leave office but a decision of the party.

Finance Minister Moeketsi Majoro is expected to replace Thabane.

Thabane’s resignation could pave the way for him to be formally charged in relation to the murder after months of clinging on to the office and accusations of frustrating investigations.

Thabane’s former wife, Lipolelo, was shot dead two days before his inauguration for a second term while two were in the midst of a bitter divorce.

His current wife, Maesaiah, has already been charged with Lipolelo’s murder and the attempted murder of Thato Sibolla, a friend of Lipolelo who was wounded at the scene.

Thabane had also been questioned by police after his mobile phone was connected to communication records from the scene of the killing of Lipolelo.