First flowers, then bullets

2010-04-07 00:00

AN Eastwood woman was shot dead at her workplace yesterday morning — allegedly by her husband, who brought her flowers and then shot her.

Tania Donnelly (30) was employed by the Msunduzi Municipality as a clerk in the electricity department’s pre-paid section.

A colleague said the husband went past the security guards at the gate carrying the flowers and, once in Donnelly’s office, asked for water.

“The woman put the flowers on the table and went out to the kitchen for water with the man following her, and suddenly about five gun shots rang out.

“I’m still shocked with all this because Tania was a sweet and lively young lady. She has been in this section for about two years now,” said the employee, who didn’t want to be named.

The husband fled the scene of the shooting, but was later arrested.

Police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker said Donnelly was shot twice in the abdomen and once in the left arm.

She was taken to St Anne’s Hospital where she died at 11.05 am.

The husband was arrested in town at about 10 am.

A .38 special Taurus revolver was allegedly found in his possession.

The revolver is believed to have been stolen from the Mountain Rise area yesterday morning.

The 35-year-old suspect will appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court shortly on charges of murder and theft of a firearm.

Donnelly married when she was 17 and and the couple have a boy of 15 and a girl of three.

Her family said the marriage was abusive. They said the abuse started when her son was two years old.

Her older sister, Savatia Pailman, said Donnelly and the children were no longer living with her husband.

“She was living in fear and was abused constantly by her husband, but we never expected it to result in this. The man was obsessed and so abusive.

“Early last month, my sister had a court interdict against him, but he never stopped begging her to come back.

“At one stage, when she refused to go back to him, he said that if he can’t have her, then my family will have her in a coffin, and that’s exactly what he has done,” said Pailman.

In the interdict, Donnelly explained how she was told what to wear, who to talk to and not to talk to, and where she could and couldn’t go.

She said her husband punched their daughter while she held her in her arms.

This was the first time she reported the abuse to the authorities.

The suspect’s brother, who lives in Durban, said they had planned to spend the Easter weekend with his brother and family in Durban.

He said Donnelly phoned him on Monday last week, saying she couldn’t come and that her husband had threatened to make a scene at her workplace.

“I phoned my brother and talked him out of doing it, and he said he wouldn’t do it.

“Today’s incident came as a shock and I don’t know what to say,” the brother said.

Msunduzi Municipality spokeswoman Ntobeko Ngcobo said Donnelly worked for the municipality for three years.

Her commitment and excellent customer service skills led to her progress in the electricity department. We … wish to pass on sincere condolences to the family for their loss,” said Ngcobo.

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