No joy for ‘Maesaiah as bail hearing is postponed

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Mohalenyane Phakela

MURDER accused former First Lady, ‘Maesaiah Thabane, will have to wait a week longer for her bail application to be heard in the High Court. This after Judge Thamsanqa Nomngcongo yesterday postponed her bail hearing to 16 June 2020 to allow Thato Sibolla and Mr Thabane’s grandson, Thomas Thabane Jr to file their papers opposing her application.

The bail hearing was initially scheduled to be heard on Tuesday but failed to kick-off after Ms Sibolla and Mr Thabane Jr filed an application to be allowed to oppose the bail. In her application, ‘Maesaiah had only cited the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Advocate Hlalefang Motinyane, as the only respondent.

However, Ms Sibolla and Thabane Jr want to oppose the bail on grounds that their lives are in danger if ‘Maesaiah is set free. Ms Sibolla survived the shooting which claimed Lipolelo’s life.

Justice Nomngcongo yesterday granted them leave to oppose ‘Maesaiah’s bail and ordered that all their papers be filed well before 16 June 2020 to give him time to study them before the actual bail hearing.

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“I should be given time to go through the papers therefore they should be filed on time. The matter is therefore postponed to 16 June for hearing,” Justice Nomngcongo ordered.

DPP Motinyane attended yesterday’s proceedings to oppose the bail. Ms Sibolla and Thabane Jr are represented by Mr Monaheng Rasekoai and Adv Letuka Molati who are both instructed by Mr Kuili Ndebele.

‘Maesaiah has been in remand prison since Wednesday last week after her 5 February 2020 bail was overturned by the Court of Appeal following an appeal by Ms Sibolla, Mr Thabane Jr and others. She stands accused of murdering her husband former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s ex-wife, Lipolelo, on 14 June 2017.

DPP Motinyane had earlier supported the initial decision to grant the ex-first lady bail. But she has since had a change of heart after she was savaged by the Court of Appeal alongside acting chief justice ‘Maseforo Mahase for their controversial roles in the initial bail process.

An affidavit filed in her name by Deputy Police Commissioner (DCP) Paseka Mokete illustrates her clear change of heart.

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