Police in Lesotho want to question Prime Minister Thabane in ex-wife's killing
Posted January 21, 2020 5:51 p.m. EST
CNN — Police in Lesotho want to question Prime Minister Thomas Thabane as part of an investigation into the killing of Thabane's former wife.
In a letter addressed to Thabane on Monday, Lesotho's Deputy Police Commissioner Paseke Mokete urged the Prime Minister to attend an interview with police Wednesday to "cast a light" on the ongoing probe.
Investigations into the 2017 shooting death of Lipolelo Thabane have also prompted authorities to issue an arrest warrant for Thabane's current wife, Maesaiah Thabane.
The warrant was issued by the court earlier this month after Maesaiah Thabane failed to appear for questioning at a police station, according to court documents seen by CNN. Police had been looking for the first lady since earlier in January. They now believe she has left the country, Lesotho Police Commissioner Holomo Molibeli told CNN.
CNN reached out to Maesaiah Thabane's lawyer for comment but did not immediately receive a response.
Pressure to step down
Thabane's estranged wife was shot dead by gunmen in June 2017 on the outskirts of the capital city of Maseru. The killing took place shortly before her husband's inauguration as Prime Minister of the tiny African nation.
The Prime Minister and Lipolelo Thabane had been in the process of negotiating a divorce before her death. Thabane married his current wife less than three months after the shooting, according to South African news outlet News24.
The 80-year-old leader came under pressure from his party to step down after police chief Molibeli wrote in a letter on December 23 that communication records from the day of the killing picked up Thabane's mobile phone number, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).
No one has been charged in the killing.
CNN has reached out to the Prime Minister's office for a response to the request from police for an interview and to the reports of the phone call on the day of the killing but has not yet heard back.
Thabane expressed his intention to resign last week, All Basotho Convention party spokesman Montoeli Masoetsa told CNN.
Thabane has also informed Lesotho's Parliament that he will step down, according to a Reuters report, but has yet to announce a date when he will resign.