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Maesaiah, wife of Lesotho’s Prime Minister Tom Thabane, is to be charged with murder over the 2017 killing of the prime minister’s former wife, Lipobele, police have said.

Mr Thabane, 80, married his present wife two months after Lipolelo’s death.

The latter was murdered two days before Thabane’s inauguration for a second term in 2017 and two years after a court ruled that she (Lipolelo) was the lawful first lady and entitled to benefits.

Lipolelo was 58.

Senior members of the governing All Basotho Convention (ABC) party have accused the prime minister of hampering investigations into the killing.

Last month, hundreds of opposition supporters marched through the streets of Maseru as the prime minister was questioned by the police, demanding he steps down with immediate effect.

The Associated Press reports that Thabane, who had fled the country has returned to Lesotho and handed herself to police in the capital, Maseru.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Mokete Paseka told AP on Tuesday that Thabane would spend the night in custody and only be taken to the court once the director of public prosecutions has prepared the charge sheet.

Thabane said that he would step down after evidence allegedly linked him to the murder of his estranged wife, Lipolelo, in June 2017

“She has been charged with murder alongside eight others who are in Lesotho and South Africa,” Paseka told reporters, adding that the investigation had been “satisfactorily completed”.

He said police had a “strong case” against the first lady, who was unable to appear in court on Tuesday due to logistical reasons.

An arrest warrant for the first lady was issued the day she fled the country after she refused to report to police for questioning in connection with the murder.

She was picked up on the border with South Africa following an arrangement between her lawyer and the police.

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