Lesotho's former first lady, Maesaiah Thabane, third wife of the country's former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, has been charged with murdering her predecessor, the former PM's second wife. Though Maesaiah was granted bail by the country’s Acting Chief Justice, an Appeal Court bench – consisting of three ‘outside’ judges – has now found the bail decision tainted by ‘gross irregularities’.
For relatives and friends of Lipolelo Thabane, Lesotho’s former first lady, murdered in 2017, the question of whether bail was validly granted to one of the suspects in her killing was a matter of personal safety and ensuring the integrity of the eventual trial.
Tanzania’s bail laws have been brought into line with the country’s constitution, following an application by a member of the legal profession. But in the aftermath of the decision there’s confusion and concern, mostly related to the appeal noted by the government the day after judgment was delivered this week. The high court judgment by three judges deals with the problem that the law makes certain offences ‘unbailable’. How does this square with judicial discretion, the petitioner asked.
The litigant who put his finger on the bail issue and brought it to court was a Tanzanian advocate, Dickson Sanga. His complaint was that the Criminal Procedure Act’s provisions relating to a growing list of offences as ‘non-bailable’, infringed the constitution.