Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, who at the weekend was receiving ‘emergency’ medical treatment in South Africa, on Monday appeared in court where he is expected to be charged with murdering his estranged wife, an AFP correspondent reported.

Thabane, 80, arrived at the magistrates court in the capital Maseru where charges are expected to be formally read out to him for allegedly having acted in ‘common purpose’ in the June 2017 killing of 58-year old Lipolelo Thabane, whom he was in the process of divorcing.

He was accompanied by his current wife Maesaiah Thabane, 42, whom he married two months after Lipolelo's death and who is considered a co-conspirator in the murder case. She has already been charged with murder and is out on bail.

Thabane had initially been due in court on Friday for the preliminary appearance but was a no-show, prompting police to warn they could issue an arrest warrant.

His aide initially said Thabane had gone to neighbouring South Africa for ‘routine’ health checks, but later his office said he was seeking ‘emergency’ medical attention and would appear in court on his return.

On Saturday police said the authorities would wait for Thabane's return to resume his case after his lawyers said they had a sick note proving that the premier would be ‘unfit’ until February 27.