Lesotho’s murder-charged ex-first lady seeks bail to nurse husband

Lesotho’s former first lady, who has been charged with the murder of her husband’s estranged wife, is seeking bail to go look after her recently “critically ill” husband, court documents showed Thursday.

Maesaiah Thabane, 43, was charged in February over the brutal killing of former prime minister Thomas Thabane’s previous wife two days before his inauguration in 2017.

She spent just half a night in jail before the country’s High Court controversially freed her on a 1,000 maloti ($57) bail.

The Court of Appeal cancelled her bail on Friday, and she returned to custody on Wednesday after travelling from neighbouring South Africa, where her husband is receiving medical attention.

Fresh bail application court papers seen on Thursday said that Thabane has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, dementia, incontinence and Alzheimer’s, and he “will most definitely die” if his wife is not by his side.

The application also denies Maesaiah Thabane had any role in the murder of her husband’s previous wife, Lipolelo.

“She has had no hand in the killing and has not participated in any form or manner whatsoever in her killing and/or in a plot to have her killed if any,” read the petition filed in the High Court.

The application said that since resigning as prime minister last monther, Thabane has been “diagnosed with an advanced prostate cancer in respect of which he underwent an operation” in South Africa on May 29.

It said he is due back in hospital for assessment and further treatments on Tuesday. “Furthermore, (her) husband has been further diagnosed with an advanced dementia coupled with incontinence and Alzheimer’s all which and individually have put his life at stake,” the application added.

“He requires his wife and not just any other person or relative for obvious reasons, to be physically with him around the clock.” Thabane’s health “has been deteriorating at an alarming rate in the recent past,” the application said. “There is a grave fear that unless closely and well looked after on minute-by-minute basis he will most definitely die.”

The former premier agreed to step down in January after police linked his mobile number to communication records from the scene of the murder. But he did not officially resign until last month, finally bowing to pressure from his rivals who accused him of hampering investigations into Lipolelo’s death. Thabane has denied any involvement in the murder.


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