‘I decided it was enough’

2014-08-07 00:00

LEADING Durban radio personality Carol Ralefeta has courageously gone public about being beaten and abused by a former boyfriend.

Ralefeta, the East Coast Radio Weekend Breakfast host who is getting married this weekend in Johannesburg to Gregory Ofori, said she decided to tell of her abuse now, nearly eight years later.

Until today, when she writes about her experience in her debut column for The Witness, her shame and a sense that she needed to protect her abuser had kept her from speaking out.

She has yet to even tell her parents of her nightmare.

“I was 23 at the time and I was worried I would not find a suitable suitor. I settled for someone who was never going to be right for me. I intimidated him because I was driven, voracious and independent. He wanted to control every aspect of my life,” Ralefeta told The Witness yesterday.

She said at the time of the abuse she never saw what kind of relationship she was in until a year after when she finally had the courage to break it off and revealed all to a friend.

“I decided I must talk about it. I still haven’t told my parents because it is hard to tell those you love. I hope they read this column. They knew him and let him into their lives,” said Ralefeta.

“When you are in that moment, you want to protect the villain. I have since rebuilt my pride and love again but he robbed me of this. He made me feel I was not good enough for anyone else.

“He would shower me with gifts. From the outside he looked wonderful and when the abuse started, my brain couldn’t understand how this was happening,” said Ralefeta

The breaking point came when her ex-boyfriend stepped into her working world.

“He started telling me what to do at work. It was over something so small. We had an internal company event and I had to dance with a male colleague.

“He went mad and told me I couldn’t dance with that man. He also said I should not explore radio as a career any more. That was it. I walked out. It was the last straw,” said Ralefeta.

• See page 8 for her debut column, Loving Yourself Enough.

• jonathan.erasmus@witness.co.za

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