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Tom Thabane’s wife killed in shooting ahead of inauguration in Lesotho

It’s understood the estranged wife of Prime Minister-elect Tom Thabane was one of two women shot in what seems like a random shooting.

Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – The Basotho people are mourning the loss of their first lady Lipolelo Thabane this morning.

It’s understood the estranged wife of Prime Minister-elect Tom Thabane was one of two women shot in what seems like a random shooting.

She died at the hospital.

Thabane was just hours from being inaugurated as Lesotho’s Prime Minister after winning the country’s elections earlier this month.

Details of the killing are still sketchy, however, members of the Thabane family have reportedly confirmed the fatal shooting.

Lesotho, which has been on a political knife-edge since an attempted coup in 2014, held elections last week, the third in five years, after Pakalitha Mosisili, with whom Mothejoa Metsing had been in a coalition government, lost a no-confidence vote as prime minister in March.

Mosisili admitted defeat on Friday to Thabane, whose All Basotho Convention (ABC) emerged as the winner of 48 parliamentary seats but short of the 61 needed to form a government.

Thabane has said his ABC party would form a coalition government with three other parties: Alliance Democrats, Basotho National Party and the Reformed Congress of Lesotho.

The outcome reverses the result of an election two years ago when Mosisili ousted Thabane by teaming up with Metsing and other smaller parties.

Lesotho, a nation of two million people, has been hit by several coups since gaining independence from Britain in 1966 and its last two elections failed to produce a winner with a clear majority.

Thabane, who governed from 2012 until 2015, and other opposition leaders, fled the country to South Africa in 2015 after an assassination attempt.

Apart from textile exports and regional customs receipts, Lesotho’s other big earner is water, piped to South Africa.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)