By Staff Writers
Maseru, Feb 5 (The Night’s Watch) – First Lady ‘Maesaiah Thabane who has been charged with the much-publicised murder of former first lady, Lipolelo Thabane, was granted bail in the High Court on Wednesday.
‘Maesaiah’s lawyer advocate Rethabile Setlojoane said she was released on M1,000 bail.
She was arrested on Tuesday and appeared in the Maseru Magistrate Court on Wednesday morning charged with murdering her husband Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s second wife, Lipolelo.
Police said ‘Maesaiah “… caused the death of Lipolelo Thabane by shooting her with a firearm”.
The 58-year old victim was shot dead on June 14 2017, at Ha Masana in Maseru while traveling in a vehicle with a female companion who sustained serious injuries.
‘Maesaiah was also charged with attempting to murder Lipolele’s companion, Thato Sibolla.
She was remanded in custody to appear in court again on February 18.
She then filed an urgent high court application bail.
Her application was heard by the Acting Chief Justice (ACJ) ‘Maseforo Mahase who in August last year, the Court of Appeal found that she had failed to perform her judicial duties competently and diligently in the cases involving the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC).
‘Maesaiah’s husband, Prime Minister Thabane, is the leader of the ABC.
Characteristically, in all matters related to the ABC, the Court of Appeal found that Mahase did not given reasons for the orders that she issued.
In a scathing ruling, the Court of Appeal also stated that in other jurisdictions, the failure by a judge to give reasons for judgement, especially where that becomes a pattern of how the judge concerned operates, leads to disciplinary action against such a judge.
“The judiciary in this country should take a leaf from other jurisdictions on this salutary practice. The time has surely arrived to impose disciplinary sanctions on errant judicial officers who refuse or neglect to give written reasons for the decisions they make, especially in important matters that come before them,” said Acting Justice of Appeal NT Mtshiya.
One of her orders was found to have been “wrong and incompetent” and some of her actions were found to be contravention the provisions of the High Court Act of 1978.
Any normal lawyer on the receiving end of the criticisms and adverse findings of the court of appeal would have resigned.
Not so with Mahase, she remained in denial of any wrongdoing and soldiered on regardless of her criticism by the country’s highest court.
Today, as was expected, she granted ‘Maesaiah bail. NW