MASERU – Former Prime Minister Motsoahae Thabane’s grandson, Thomas Thabane Jnr, has accused his grandfather’s third wife, ’Maesaiah Thabane, of lying about her husband’s health status. Thabane Jnr says it is untrue that his grandfather is gravely ill as alleged by ’Maesaiah in her bail petition filed in the High Court of Lesotho on Thursday last week. In an affidavit filed in the High Court, Thabane Jnr in league with one Thato Sibolla (a victim in Lipolelo murder) is seeking leave to intervene as respondents in a bail petition by ’Maesaiah.
The duo says it is not true that Thabane is sick as alleged by ’Maesaiah and have asked the court to allow them to file papers to prove ’Maesaiah lied. ’Maesaiah is seeking bail having been detained in relation to the murder of her husband’s second wife, Lipolelo, who she is accused of killing. She has been charged for the murder of Lipolelo and attempting to kill Sibolla who was with Lipolelo on the day she got killed. Acting Chief Justice ’Maseforo Mahase on February 5 released ’Maesaiah on M1 000 bail deposit only for the Apex Court to overturn and cancel the decision on March 29.
The Appeal Court said Judge Mahase did not make the necessary judiciary inquiry in granting the bail and thereby ordered that the bail be heard afresh before a different High court judge. The former First Lady (’Maesaiah) now wants the court to release her on M10 000 bail to take care of her husband, Thabane, who she fears could die if she is not released to take care of him. In her bail petition, ’Maesaiah said Thabane’s health has deteriorated lately, resulting in him being in and out of the hospital and further that the condition has not shown improvement.
She cited Thabane’s five visits to Medi-Clinic in Bloemfontein between May and now and said she feared that “unless closely and well looked after on a minute by minute basis he (Thabane) will mostly die.” Thabane Jnr and Sibolla disagree with ’Maesaiah and both want the High Court to allow them to intervene as respondents in the bail petition to prove that ’Maesaiah lied about Thabane’s health status. “If given an opportunity, we shall present evidence that would show amongst other things that all allegations made about the former prime minister’s health are false beyond doubt,” Sibolla said in an affidavit endorsed by Thabane Jnr.
The two complainants also say ’Maesaiah is a flight risk and that she is a risk to society and witnesses. High Court Justice Thamsanqa Nomncongo on Wednesday granted Sibolla and Thabane Jnr leave to intervene in the bail after the lawyer representing ’Maesaiah showed no opposition to their intervention. He directed that their papers be filed by June 12 while ’Maesaiah should have replied to the said papers by June 15 for the case to be heard on June 16.
Sibolla and Thabane have expressed frustration in the way the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Advocate Hlalefang Motinyane, has handled ’Maesaiah’s bail application in the past saying they do not have confidence that she will represent their interests. “I wish to state for the record that I harbour no confidence in the prosecution authority securing my interests in these proceedings and for that reason find it imperative that I secure my interests in my own right represented by my own counsel,” Sibolla states in an affidavit.
Sibolla and Thabane both make common cause that Motinyane has not consulted with any of the victims in the murder before opposing the bail and thereby do not trust that she will also represent their interests. “… The Second Respondent has not had even the slightest courtesy to get our views as victims over the issue of bail. I made an attempt to get her views on the opposition but to no avail,” Sibolla said.
She added, “on the 7th June 2020, I wrote an email to her (DPP), in the following terms Good Afternoon Advocate Motinyane, I have just been informed that Mrs Thabane has applied for bail in the High Court of Lesotho and that the bail application is coming on the 9th June 2020, that is on Tuesday, I would like to inquire from you as to whether the state is going to oppose the matter. The reason for my inquiry is that it would be in my best interest that the matter is opposed and further in accordance with the Court of Appeal in the matter of Thabane and others versus Acting Chief Justice.”
Since she has not responded to her email, Sibolla says she and Thabane Jnr do not trust that Motinyane will represent their interests, hence the need to intervene. They have asked that oral evidence be led regarding the allegations ’Maesaiah made in the bail petition with regards to Thabane’s status.
“We shall further pray that the nature of allegations made in the petition call for the leading of viva voce evidence mainly because there are glaring material disputes of fact which we shall glaringly ventilate under cross examination…”
Meanwhile, the police are also dismissing ’Maesiah’s allegations about her husband’s health status arguing that she is neither a qualified nurse nor a qualified doctor and say when she evaded arrest in January this year, she did not and does not claim to have returned to attend to Thabane’s health status.