M3m to kill Lipolelo

M3m to kill Lipolelo

MASERU-FORMER Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and his wife ’Maesaiah offered M3 million to five hit-men to eliminate his estranged wife Lipolelo.
The stunning allegation is contained in an affidavit filed by Deputy Commissioner of Police Paseka Mokete to oppose ’Maesaiah’s bail application.

In what reads like a crime thriller, DCP Mokete gives a detailed and chilling account of how Thabane and his wife allegedly plotted to kill Lipolelo.
He tells how Thabane and his wife hired five famo music gangsters and promised them M3 million to carry out the hit. He also reveals that one of the gangsters, who was later hired as a minister’s driver, has now become a state witness.

ACP Mokete however says for security reasons he will not name the witness, who was part of the plot.
DCP Mokete says the four suspects are Rethabile ‘Chakela’ Mokete, Seabata Joseph ‘Lieta’ Sello, Macheli ‘Lebese’ Koeshe and Molefi ‘Mokata’ Matima. Chakela is a notorious famo gangster and a staunch All Basotho Convention supporter. The crown witness is the fifth hit man.

ACP Mokete describes the hit men as “members of the infamous famo gang, notorious for displaying violence and for brutal killings”.
He says ’Maesaiah once offered the state witness to kill her then husband, Joachim Fereirra.
DCP Mokete says before the June 3, 2017 election Thabane and ’Maesaiah met Chakela and the state witness in Ficksburg where the couple was staying after fleeing Lesotho.

He says Thabane and ’Maesaiah told them that Thabane would be returning to Lesotho to be the Prime Minister. Thabane’s divorce with Lipolelo had not been finalised.
This meant that if Thabane won, Lipolelo, not ’Maesaiah, would be the First Lady.

DCP Mokete says ’Maesaiah and Thabane told the gangsters that they wanted Lipolelo dead so that ’Maesaiah could be the First Lady.
Chakela and the state witness were promised M3 million in cash and jobs in the government if they accomplished the heinous mission. They agreed to kill Lipolelo just before Thabane’s inauguration.
Soon after the election Sello, Koeshe and Matima started monitoring Lipolelo’s movements.

“Prime Minister Thabane physically pointed out the residence of the deceased (Lipolelo) to his co-accused,” DCP Mokete says.
On June 12, 2017 Chakela, Sello, Koeshe and Matima went to Lipolelo’s house in Ha-’Masana to carry out the hit but the plan failed and they fled.
The incident was reported at Maseru Rural Police Station.

DCP Mokete reveals that on June 14, a few hours before the murder, ’Maesaiah met the state witness in Ficksburg. Lipolelo, he says, had asked the witness to mediate between her and ’Maesaiah.
He says ’Maesaiah agreed to the mediation but told the witness that he should meet them separately. From Ficksburg the witness met Lipolelo and her friend Thato Sibolla in Ladybrand.

Lipolelo was shot dead at dusk on the same day as she was about to drive into her yard.
Sibolla, who was a passenger in the car, sustained gunshot wounds and spent days in hospital. Two days later Thabane was sworn in as Prime Minister.
And two-and-a-half-months later ’Maesaiah and Thabane had an opulent wedding, attended by thousands at Sesotho Stadium.
DCP Mokete says ’Maesaiah initially paid Chakela M50 000 and Sello M20 000.

The witness was paid M30 000 and rewarded with a job as a minister’s driver.
Chakela, Sello, Koeshe and Matima later “became aggrieved” because Thabane and ’Maesaiah did not pay the full amount they had promised.
DCP Mokete says during late 2018 or 2019, Thabane paid M300 000 to the four gang members “who expressed their extreme displeasure with the above amount, which they believed to be too little”.
The police have since issued warrants of arrest for the four suspects who are believed to be in South Africa.

“Application for their extradition to Lesotho has been sought,” he says, adding that “the investigations are at an advanced stage”.
“All crown witnesses have confirmed their availability to testify against the petitioner (’Maesaiah) and her co-accused.”
He said the trial of ’Maesaiah and other suspects will start in the High Court on Monday next week.

“The case against (’Maesaiah) and her co- accused is strong.”
“I however categorically state that the prosecution of (’Maesaiah) is not dependent on the presence or absence of any of her co-accused.”

Staff Reporter

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