Thabane loses cool in Parly: 'I should be commended, not mocked for resigning'

Lesotho Primer Minister Tom Thabane said instead that members of parliament should praise him for leaving office, unlike some African leaders.

FILE: Prime Minister of Lesotho Thomas Thabane. Picture: AFP.

MASERU - Murder accused Lesotho Prime Minister Tom Thabane has taken exception to members of parliament making fun of his statement that he was stepping down due to old age.

Thabane said instead, they should praise him for leaving office, unlike some African leaders.

He appeared in court this week for allegedly acting in "common purpose" in the killing of 58-year-old Lipolelo Thabane, with whom he was in the process of divorcing.

Thabane lost his cool on Tuesday as opposition MPs heckled him asking him to be more specific about when he was going to resign.

Thabane said he should be commended, not mocked: “I have made up my mind to cut short my tenure as Prime Minister, not many people would want to do that, but I am doing it.”

Meanwhile, the country’s finance minister is expected to deliver his budget speech on Wednesday morning.

The opposition and NGOs wanted the speech to be postponed until Thabane had left but the government voted for it to go ahead.

Lesotho opposition MPs were attempting to stop the minister of finance from reading his Budget Speech.

They said Thabane has already said he was resigning at the end of July and his government could not be given funds.

They've also pointed out that if he did not go, a motion of no confidence that was filed must be tabled.

Speaker Sephiri Motanyane pleaded with MPs to allow the minister to go ahead and table his estimates.

“We are not going to entertain that today. I am not going to do that today.”