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Lawyers 'struggling' to get appeal date in Lipolelo Thabane murder case

Thato Sibolla, the survivor of the shooting that killed Lesotho Prime Minister Tom Thabane’s second wife Lipolelo in 2017, wants the appeal court to review Maesiah Thabane's bail.

FILE: Lesotho prime Minister Thomas Thabane (L), leader of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) political party, his wife 'Ma Isaiah Ramoholi Thabane and Zambian President Edgar Lungu (R) attend Thabane's inauguration on June 16, 2017 in Maseru. Lesotho's new prime minister took office at the head of a coalition government, three years after he was targeted by a putsch and two days after the murder of his estranged wife. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Lawyers challenging the bail of murder accused and Lesotho first lady Maesiah Thabane on Tuesday said they were struggling to obtain a date.

Thato Sibolla, the survivor of the shooting that killed Lesotho Prime Minister Tom Thabane’s second wife Lipolelo in 2017, wants the appeal court to review Maesiah’s bail.

Police said Maesiah was dangerous and should be considered a flight risk because she had fled the country.

She appeared in magistates court on Tuesday, but her bail was granted by acting Chief Justice Maseforo Mahase under dubious circumstances.

Sibolla was shocked when the high court granted the first lady bail hours after she was charged by the magistrates court for Lipolelo’s murder and Sibolla's attempted murder.

Sibolla and Lipolelo’s nephews have asked the appeal court to review that bail and police are supporting them.

Their lawyer Kuili Ndebele said they were still waiting for a date.

"But we are struggling to obtain a date for the hearing because it requires engagement of a full bench of the court of appeal, meaning at least three judges of the appeal and we heard there are logistical issues."

Ndebele said the Mahase granted Maesiah bail even though she had fled and that had cast doubt on her independence.

"In terms of how the ACJ of late is doing things, it was a concern. First of all, how did she get the matter? Number two, the way she handled it was of concern not just to me as a lawyer, but to all who are concerned and affected by her decision."

He said he hoped the appeal court would restore faith in the system.

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