By Staff Writers
Maseru, Feb 13 (The Night’s Watch) – Deputy Commissioner of Police Paseka Mokete has painted the murder-accused First Lady ‘Maesaiah Thabane as a pure evil, a very dangerous person capable of recruiting assassins to kill innocent people for her own benefit.
Mokete’s explosive affidavit makes the case that ‘Masesaih is not just dangerous but also deeply, spectacularly dangerous as she is a friend to very dangerous famo music gangs “who are too fond of killing any person irrespective of reasons”.
‘Maesaiah is Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s third wife.
Mokete’s affidavit is part of court papers that were filed for a Court of Appeal application challenging last week High Court judgement by Acting Chief Justice (ACJ) ‘Maseforo Mahase – which controversially granted ‘Maesaiah bail.
The appellants, Prime Minister Thabane’s grandson and namesake, Khauhelo Molapo, Thuto Makhooane and Thato Sibolla want the Court of Appeal to review and set aside Mahase’s decision which released ‘Maesaiah from custody.
The quartet wants ‘Maesaiah to remain in custody pending finalisation of criminal proceedings against her in the High Court.
‘Maesaiah, who fled the country on January 10 to escape arrest, returned to Lesotho on Tuesday last week and handed herself to police in Maseru.
She appeared in the Maseru Magistrate Court the following day charged with murdering her husband’s second wife, Lipolelo Thabane.
Police said ‘Maesaiah “… caused the death of Lipolelo Thabane by shooting her with a firearm”.
There are more chilling details to emerge, including unsolved murders – with dotted lines to ‘Maesaiah, police have said.
The 58-year old Lipolelo was shot dead on June 14 2017, at Ha Masana in Maseru while traveling in a vehicle with a female companion, Sibolla, who sustained serious injuries.
‘Maesaiah was also charged with attempting to murder Sibolla. She denies the charges.
The killing occurred two days before Thabane’s inauguration for a second term in 2017 and two years after a court ruled that Lipolelo was the lawful first lady and entitled to benefits.
‘Maesaiah was remanded in custody to appear in court again on February 18 but she filed an urgent high court application for bail. Her bail application was granted on the same day.
In his affidavit, Mokete sounded confident and unambiguous and indicated that the decision to grant ‘Maesaiah bail was flawed.
He said ‘Maesaiah “is a flight risk as she fled the country when she was called to the police for questioning”.
He also indicated that witnesses in the Lipolelo murder case, where ‘Maesaiah is accused, “are at high risk”.
“The remaining co-accused who are not arrested are likely to resist lawful arrest and fight police and ‘Maesaiah is very influential to instigate people to disobey the law,” Mokete said.
He added that ‘Maesaiah “now knows the seriousness of the crime she is facing before the High Court which carries death penalty and as such it is highly unlikely that she will stand trial”.
He further indicated that ‘Maesaiah “is likely to estreat her bail conditions” and if she flees the country again, “she is likely to get financial assist from Ministers and businessmen who helped her while she fled” when she was summoned for questioning by police last month.
Mokete told the appeal court that as an investigator, he expected to be approached by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in order to file an opposing affidavit when ‘Maesaiah went to the high court seeking her release on bail.
He said he learned that ‘Maesaiah was released by ACJ Mahase “notwithstanding the fact that intention to oppose had already been filed”.
“I therefore make this affidavit in support of the fact that the ‘Maesaiah Thabane’s release has been totally flawed,” he said.
The court papers also reveal a litany of “irregularities discovered in the grant of bail” in favour of ‘Maesaiah.
They indicate that ‘Maesaiah’s bail petition was not signed for by the petitioner. “This effectively means that there was no petition before the court as and when the order was granted by the court a quo,” first appellant Motsoahae Thabane, Jr said in his affadavit.
He further said the verifying affidavit and certificate of urgency in the bail application were dated February 4, 2020, and signed on the same date notwithstanding the fact that ‘Maesaiah was charged on February 5.
“There was clearly a disjuncture in the facts which called for the learned judge in the court a quo to exercise her judicial discretion with circumspect. I respectfully aver that she elected not to do so but to act in a haste and grant the order nevertheless,” Thabane, Jr said.
“The 2nd Respondent (‘Maesaiah) was released from custody without having satisfied the conditions of her bail as per the very same order of the learned judge in the court a quo. The payment of bail deposit was made on the 6th February 2020,” he added.
Prime Minister Thabane and Lipolelo were involved in bitter divorce proceedings when she was gunned down.
Thabane and Lipolelo, who shared one daughter, married in 1987 before filing for divorce in 2012.
A few months after Lipolelo’s murder in 2017, Thabane married his long-term partner ‘Maesaiah nee, Liabiloe Ramoholi in a lavish ceremony attended by thousands in the Setsoto Stadium.
Evidence surfaced early last month, when a letter from Commissioner of Police Holomo Molibeli was made public alleging that communication records from the day of Lipolelo’s murder picked up Thabane’s mobile number.
‘Maesaiah was then summoned by police for questioning but she brazenly refused to present herself to police as requested without giving reasons, prompting the issuing of an arrest warrant.
But when police invaded the state house to arrest her, she was nowhere to be found. She had vanished into thin air.
She only handed herself over to the police last week. She was picked up on the border with South Africa following an arrangement between her lawyer and the police.
Thabane has also been questioned about the killing. NW