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Lesotho Prime Minister's wife shot dead

BY: Zadok Kwame Gyesi
Lipolelo Thabane was going through a prolonged divorce
Lipolelo Thabane was going through a prolonged divorce

The estranged wife of incoming Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has been shot dead ahead of  his inauguration scheduled for today.

Lipolelo Thabane, 58, was travelling home with a friend when both women were shot by an unknown assailant, the police say.

The police add the motive is unknown and an investigation is continuing.

The couple had been living separately since 2012 and filed for divorce which hasn't been granted yet.

BBC southern Africa reports that neighbours claim there had been an incident earlier in the week when a group of unidentified men were spotted hammering on the First Lady's door.

She won a high court battle against her husband to secure the privileges of a First Lady, instead of Mr Thabane's youngest wife, Liabiloe, reports the AFP news agency.

Mr Thabane is now living with a third wife.

Samonyane Ntsekele, the secretary general of Mr Thabane's All Basotho Convention (ABC) arty, told AFP that the prime minister was devastated by the shooting.

"Everyone is traumatised by these developments," he said.

The election took place earlier this month and was the third election in three years.

Mr Thabane's ABC Party won 48 parliamentary seats, compared with the 30 of outgoing Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili's Democratic Congress in last week's election.

There is a bitter power struggle in the country and Mr Thabane still has enemies in the military.

South Africa's Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is due to attend his inauguration after mediating an end to the political crisis which erupted after an attempted coup in 2014.

Credit: BBC