By Staff Writers
Maseru, Feb 10 (The Night’s Watch) – In an unprecedented turn of events, Thato Sibolla who was with the former first lady Lipolelo Thabane when she was shot and killed in June 2017, has filed an appeal against last week High Court judgement by Acting Chief Justice (ACJ) ‘Maseforo Mahase – which controversially granted first lady ‘Maesaiah Thabane bail.
Sibolla (4th appellant) and her co-appellants Thomas Motsoahae Thabane (1st appellant), Khauhelo Molapo (2nd appellant) and Thuto Makhooane (3rd appellant) filed their notice of appeal on Monday.
‘Maesaiah was released on bail on Wednesday last week before her February 18 trial for the much-publicized murder of Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s second wife, Lipolelo.
She is the third wife of Thabane.
‘Maesaiah, who fled the country on January 10 to escape arrest, returned on Tuesday last week and handed herself to police in Maseru.
She appeared in the Maseru Magistrate Court on Wednesday morning charged with murdering 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, 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 bail. Her bail application was granted on the same day.
Her swift release from remand prison sparked speculation that she received preferential treatment because of her position.
The police expressed concern that she was a flight risk.
“Had we been allowed to oppose the bail, we would have raised the possibility of her escape,” Paseka Mokete, deputy police commissioner, said.
“We are of the view that should she skip the country, it will be very easy for her [to escape],” he said, adding that if she failed to return, police would seek assistance from South African authorities to arrest her. NW