Thabane fails to appear in court



MASERU – Prime Minister Motsoahae Thabane on Friday failed to appear before the Maseru Magistrate Court to face charges of the murder of his estranged wife, Lipolelo.

Police say Thabane faces three charges, murder, the attempted murder of a friend of Lipolelo who was a passenger in the vehicle she was travelling when she was killed as well as malicious damage to property.

Members of the public who had come to witness Prime Minister Thabane take the accused’s stand returned back  home after a lengthily wait in the full packed courtroom when Thabane failed to show up.

The press as well as the security personnel deployed in the vicinity of the court also left following reports that Thabane left the country the previous night for a routine medical check-up in neighbouring South Africa.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) and Head of Criminal Investigations, Paseka Mokete, said Thabane`s lawyer, Attorney Qhalehang Letsika, informed the police about Thabane’s medical appointment in South Africa but made an assurance he would eventually report to court.

Mokete also told reporters that police will establish the factuality of Attorney Letsika’s submission on the whereabouts of the suspect, and would proceed to apply for a warrant of his arrest if the excuse was found untrue.

Meanwhile, Senior Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, Thabo Thakalekoala, refuted emergent media claims that Thabane fled the country to escape the might of the law – reiterating Thabane had gone to South Africa for medical reasons.

Thakalekoala said Thabane will appear before the courts of law immediately upon return from South Africa.

“It is not true that the prime minister flew to avoid appearing before the courts of law, he will present himself as required the moment he arrives from his appointment,” reads a statement from of prime minister’s office.

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