By Staff Writers

Maseru, Jan 9 (The Night’s Watch) – After months of resisting efforts to remove him, besieged prime minister Thomas Thabane is now facing the most serious challenge after the party he founded in October 2006, the All Basotho Convention (ABC), called for him to step down.

This is after the Commissioner of Police Holomo Molibeli accused Thabane of involvement in the killing of his estranged wife Lipolelo Thabane ahead of his inauguration in June 2017.

Lipolelo was shot dead by unknown assailants as she was about to drive into her Ha ‘Masana home on 14 June 2017. The incident occurred just two days before her husband’s inauguration as prime minister.

The revelation that Thabane was involved in the murder of his wife made headlines around the world.

The deputy leader of ABC, Professor Nqosa Mahao, on Thursday requested Thabane to step down as head of government – a move he said would reinforce national integrity.

National integrity is a cloak by which a nation’s citizens are viewed and judged abroad.

Without national integrity, a country is regarded as less than civilised, probably politically and financially corrupt, and its government as untrustworthy and unreliable.

Its citizens may find themselves embarrassed by foreigners’ perception of their country, when they travel to other countries, and even dealt with hostility and cynicism.

“As National Executive committee of the ABC, we call on prime minister Thabane to step down to allow the wheels of justice to turn without any hindrance. We hope the prime minister will heed our advice,” Mahao said at a press conference on Thursday.

Resignation remains one of the basic moral resources for individuals of integrity.

The option to resign, according to some analysts, reinforces integrity, buttresses responsibility, supports accountability, and can provide leverage and boundary drawing.

The case of Jacob Zuma’s expulsion on June 14, 2005 comes to mind.

Zuma who was then South Africa’s deputy president, was dismissed after being implicated in a corruption scandal.

Zuma had not been charged or convicted of any crime but his reputation was tarnished after his friend and financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, was found guilty of corruption and fraud.

In a damning judgment, Judge Hillary Squires found “not only convincing but overwhelming”, evidence of a corrupt relationship between Shaik and Zuma.

Msholozi then resigned as a member of parliament.

He said freedom and democracy were “more important than us as individuals”.

Alleged evidence that Thabane was involved in his wife’s murder surfaced from court documents filed by police commissioner Molibeli – who is challenging Thabane’s attempts to sack him.

Molibeli told the court that the decision to suspend him was made “mala fide” (in bad faith) and to achieve ulterior motives harboured by Thabane against him.

In an explosive affidavit, Molibeli noted that: “I wish to take this Honourable Court into my confidence and disclose that in the investigation of the murder of one Lipolelo Thabane, the 1st Respondent (Thabane) is implicated. I have sought expert evidence in the matter both from RSA (Republic of South Africa) and the US (United States of America).”

The file also contained a letter from Molibeli to the prime minister saying that communication records from the day of Lipolelo’s murder picked up Thabane’s mobile phone number. NW

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