Maseru – Lesotho’s new prime minister has taken the oath of office, returning to power three years after he fled the politically unstable southern African kingdom because of fears that he was an assassination target.
South Africa’s deputy president and other foreign dignitaries on Friday attended the inauguration of Thomas Thabane, whose estranged wife was shot dead on Wednesday in what many Thabane supporters believe was an effort to intimidate the new governing coalition. Thabane’s All Basotho Convention party dominated June 3 elections after Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili, who succeeded Thabane in a 2015 vote, lost a no-confidence vote in parliament.
Lesotho has been beset by concerns about military interference in politics. The military has pledged to respect democratic rule.
Amnesty International says the incoming government should work to curb human rights abuses.
Meanwhile, South Africa has called for calm in Lesotho following the killing of prime minister-elect Tom Thabane’s estranged wife Lipolelo.
Lipolelo (58) was shot dead in the Ha Masana village, 35km south of the capital Maseru where she lived, as she was driving with a friend on Wednesday.
In a statement, the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO) called on Lesotho authorities to “expeditiously” probe the shooting.
“South Africa calls on law enforcement authorities to expeditiously investigate the crime and bring the perpetrator/s to justice,” the statement said.
It added: “The South African Government conveys its deepest condolences to the Thabane family during this difficult time of mourning.”
Lipolelo was gunned down two days before Thabane’s inauguration.
Motives behind the shooting remained unknown. — AFP