The wife of the prime minister of Lesotho has been formally charged in court with murdering his previous wife.

First Lady Maesaiah Thabane has not yet been asked to plead. She surrendered to police on Tuesday for questioning.

Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has also been questioned. His ex-wife, Lipolelo Thabane, was shot dead outside her home in the capital Maseru two days before his inauguration in 2017.

The couple were involved in bitter divorce proceedings at the time.

The attack was originally blamed on unknown armed men, but recent court papers filed by the country’s police commissioner, Holomo Molibeli, raised further questions.

An arrest warrant was issued for 42-year-old Maesaiah Thabane on 10 January after she disappeared.

She was “picked from the border” with South Africa on Tuesday after an arrangement between her lawyers and police, police spokesman Mpiti Mopeli told AFP news agency.

Lipolelo Thabane, 58, had been living apart from her husband since 2012. One evening in June 2017 while returning home, she was ambushed, shot several times at close range and died on the side of a road.

The murder shocked the nation. Mr Thabane described it as a “senseless killing” in his inauguration speech.

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