Popular
Photo by SAMSON MOTIKOE/AFP via Getty Images.

Lesotho's Former First Lady Arrested for Murder of Husband's Ex-Wife.

Lesotho’s Former First Lady Arrested for Alleged Murder of Husband’s Ex-Wife

In what has been a bizarre sequence of events, Lesotho's former First Lady Maesaiah Thabane has been charged with the alleged murder of her husband's ex-wife.

This past Wednesday, Lesotho's former First Lady Maesaiah Thabane was arrested and charged for the murder of former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane's ex-wife, Liopelo Thabane. In 2017, Liopelo Thabane and a close friend were on their way home when they were both gunned down by a group of unknown men. The friend survived while Thabane died on the scene—two days before her husband's inauguration, according to local reports.


Scepticism followed almost immediately as it was revealed that Thabane had reportedly refused a divorce and subsequently won a court decision to retain her title as First Lady and all of the privileges that come with it. As a result, Maesaiah would simply be considered as a wife of a Prime Minister, with none of the perks.

Once eyebrows started raising and Maesaiah was called in for questioning, the Prime Minister's wife fled Lesotho to seek refuge in South Africa. Local authorities put out a warrant for her arrest over the murder, and in February of this year, Thomas Thabane himself was charged with the murder of his second wife.

After a few weeks in South Africa, Maesaiah returned to Lesotho and turned herself in to local authorities where she was formally charged with the murder of Liopelo Thabane in addition to the attempted murder of the woman accompanying her, according to a CNN report.

After his resignation in May, the Prime Minister's wife was originally out on bail until Lesotho's Appeal Court revoked it and had her rearrested. The magistrate stated in the recent ruling, "You will remain in the correctional facility," and went on to add, "You will report back on June 16, 2020 to find out the progress of your case."

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.