The estranged wife of incoming Lesotho Prime Minister, Thomas Thabane has been shot dead two days before his inauguration.

Police say Lipolelo Thabane (58) was travelling home with a friend when both women were shot by an unknown assailant, adding that the motive is unknown and an investigation is continuing.

The couple had been living separately since 2012 and filed for divorce which has not been granted yet.

Lipolelo previously won a court case against her husband during his first stint as Prime Minister, affirming her position as Lesotho’s First Lady instead of his youngest wife, Liabiloe Thabane.

Samonyane Ntsekele, the Secretary General of Mr Thabane’s All Basotho Convention party, told AFP that Mr Thabane was devastated by the shooting.

The election took place earlier this month and was the third election in three years because of a bitter power-struggle.

He is due to be sworn in on friday.