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The prime minister of Lesotho, Thomas Thabane, on Friday failed to appear in court, where he was expected to face charges of murder, attempted murder and malicious damage to property.

Police said on Thursday that Mr Thabane would be charged for the murder of his second wife, Lipolelo.

According to his private secretary, he did not arrive at court because he was having a medical check-up in neighbouring South Africa.

Private secretary Thabo Thakalekoala told dpa, after widespread speculation that Thabane had skipped the country.

“It is not true that he has gone to South Africa to seek political asylum.

“Preparations will be made when he will appear before the court,’’ Mr Thakalekoala said.

Deputy police commissioner Paseka Mokete told dpa they had not yet received confirmation of the prime minister’s whereabouts and would “take it from there.’’

Mr Mokete told South African radio station 702 earlier that Thabane would be formally charged with three counts – murder, attempted murder, and malicious damage to property.

Earlier in the month, Mr Thabane’s current wife, Maesaiah Thabane, was arrested, charged and granted bail after handing herself over to the authorities.

READ ALSO: Lesotho first lady to be charged with killing PM’s ex-wife

“We will charge him along with his wife, because they had a common purpose,’’ Mr Mokete said.

Mrs Thabane, who married the prime minister in 2017, shortly after his previous wife was shot and killed while travelling in her car, went into hiding in mid-January after being called in for questioning.

Mr Thabane came under increased pressure to resign and conducted a news conference at State House in the capital, Maseru, on Thursday, announcing he would step down in July.

(dpa/NAN)

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