Former leader on the verge of death three weeks after quitting


Mandlenkosi Dlamini

Maseru—Hardly three weeks after being forced to give up power by his own party, Lesotho’s former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane is said to be on the verge of death due to various illnesses including Alzheimer’s disease and incontinence.

Thabane is also said to have recently undergone an operation for prostate cancer in neighbouring South Africa.

This was revealed Friday by his murder-accused wife, ‘Maesaiah Thabane, in her court papers in support of her application for bail.

‘Maesaiah and Thabane are both accused of the 14 June 2017 murder of Mr Thabane’s estranged wife, Lipolelo. Thabane is yet to appear in court to face charges. ‘Maesaiah was sent to remand prison on Wednesday after the Court of Appeal recently revoked the bail she had been granted by Acting Justice ‘Maseforo Mahase on 5 February 2020.

The apex court ruled that the bail was granted without following due processes and without consideration for the seriousness of the crimes ‘Maesaiah is charged with. A day later, ‘Maesaiah lodged a fresh bid for freedom, arguing that she should be freed on bail to care for her terminally husband.

“The petitioner’s husband who is the former prime minister of Lesotho, now about 82 years old is critically ill and has just undergone a prostate cancer operation. He is due back for further assessment and procedure at Medi-Clinic (South Africa) on 9 June 2020,” ‘Maesaiah states in her court papers.

“The petitioner’s husband also has serious health complications including incontinence and Alzheimer’s disease among others which require the petitioner (‘Maesaiah) to be with him around the clock.

“By the look of things, the petitioner’s husband needs personal and sensitive attendance-things which can only be done by one’s spouse not relatives or even child,” ‘Maesaiah states in her court papers.

“He (Thabane) has to be assisted to do all activities of nature due to his acute incontinence.

“In the premises the petitioner’s husband is between life and death and cannot pull through should the petitioner not be around him all the time. He is clearly in his last and most delicate days requiring personal and constant respectful attention.”

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disorder that causes brain cells to waste away (degenerate) and die. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia — a continuous decline in thinking, behavioural and social skills that disrupts a person’s ability to function independently.

‘Maesaiah’s bail application will be heard on 9 June 2020.

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