The estranged wife of new Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has died on the eve of his inauguration, following a fatal shooting attack on the family.
Local media reports said family members had confirmed the death of Lipolelo Thabane, who was shot while returning to her home. South African radio station Power 987 News spoke late Wednesday with Samonyelo Ntsekele, Secretary of Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) party, who confirmed the death but said people were still shocked by the shooting and he wasn’t clear on the motive involved.
Ntseleke also confirmed that Thabane was not living with his wife. She was attacked in Ha Masana, about 35 kilometers to the south of Maseru.
Lesotho Times reporter Keiso Mohloboli, based in Maseru, and Chriselda Lewis of SABC in Johannesburg each said they had spoken with a family member who also confirmed the shooting. A spokesperson for the Thabane family is expected to provide more details on Thursday.
Thabane and the All Basotho Convention (ABC) party picked up 48 parliamentary seats in elections held on June 3, then forged a coalition that includes Alliance of Democrats (AD), Basotho National Party (BNP) and Reformed Congress of Lesotho (RCL) members. That coalition government is to be formalized with Thabane’s inauguration.
Thabane returned from South Africa in March after leaving Lesotho for his safety in 2014, following what he described as an attempted coup. Earlier this week the Southern African Development Community (SADC) warned against any new coup attempts to interfere with Lesotho’s elected government.
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