Friday, June 16

Mahlatse Ramatseba

Lesotho Prime Minister's wife allegedly shot dead

New Lesotho Prime Minister's wife allegedly shot dead

Cape Town - News has emerged that the estranged wife of Lesotho's new Prime Minister Tom Thabane has allegedly been shot dead on Wednesday - a day before the inauguration of her husband in the mountain kingdom.

Although details of the incident are still sketchy, Dipolelo Thabane's stepdaughter Advocate Nkoya Thabane reportedly confirmed the fatal shooting to a Lesotho-based journalist.

In another tweet she said: "Mrs Thabane's fatal shooting comes hours before her husband Thomas Thabane's inauguration as the next Prime Minister of Lesotho".

SABC News reported that two women were shot but the identity of the deceased was not released. The other woman was still in surgery late on Wednesday night.

It was also not clear what the motive for the shooting was.

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. He says that Ramaphosa, who represent the SADC, will proceed to the country for the inauguration.

"The deputy president is aware of the developments," said Mamoepa, adding that "security forces" will ensure that the inauguration runs "smoothly".

Thabane's All Basotho Convention party won 48 out of the 120 parliamentary seats in the June 3 election.

The South African international relations and cooperation minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, warned on Sunday that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) - which Lesotho is a partner - will not allow any military coup "in any [its] corner".

"This was made very, very clear to everyone in Lesotho two weeks ago. They have just had an election a year and a half ago, and they have also undertaken to go back to the reforms [on the role of the police and the military, which have been supporting leaders from opposing parties] which they themselves say has bedevilled focus on governance," she told News24.

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