Thomas Thabane

Lipolelo Thabane, the estranged wife of Lesotho’s incoming Prime Minister was on Wednesday night shot dead, two days before her husband, Tom Thabane is scheduled to be inaugurated into office.

Police spokesperson, Clifford Molefe said the 58-year-old Lipolelo was travelling home alongside her friend when they were shot by an unknown assailant in the town of Masana, just outside the nation’s capital, Maseru.

Molefe said Lipolelo died at the scene of the shooting while her friend was rushed to a nearby hospital, adding that investigations had begun in earnest to track down the assassin and determine the motive behind the dastardly act.

The incident has raised fears of another wave of political violence in the South African kingdom which has been on a political knife-edge following an attempted coup in 2014 and former Prime Minister, Pakalitha Mosisili’s ouster from office after a vote of no-confidence on him in March.

Tom and Lipolelo have been living separately since 2012 after Thabane filed for a divorce which is yet to be granted by the courts.