Buyile's wife: My marriage of hell

By Drum Digital
12 August 2010

THE woman who strides into the secluded restaurant in Rosebank, Johannesburg, looks like anything but a heartbroken or bitter ex-wife. Stylishly dressed in tight jeans, a cropped embroidered jacket and high heels, her make-up immaculate and trendy headgear around her long braids, Carol Mdladla is the picture of calm.

The only sign of her inner turmoil is her peeling manicure which she picks at constantly.

We’re meeting Carol, the estranged wife of Generations actor Buyile Mdladla, a day after news of their split hit the headlines.

The elegant businesswoman admits she was the one who filed divorce papers but she didn’t want to talk about the breakdown of her marriage - until Buyile talked to a Sunday newspaper.

The fact he portrayed himself as sad and regretful convinced her to speak out. The truth is her marriage was a nightmare, she alleges, fraught with physical abuse and extramarital affairs - including one with a top Generations actress - and Buyile is anything but a victim.

“Nobody wants a divorce but my marriage to Buyile was doomed to end eventually,” she says. “I’ve spend almost 13 years with him and it was never child’s play. I’d been emotionally divorced for years before I filed the papers.”

Her almond-shaped eyes fill with tears as she exclusively reveals to DRUM the years of abuse she endured.

“When he moved out a month ago he hit me and I called the police. I pressed charges at the Orlando Police Station but I later withdrew them because I was scared. Here I am after 12 to 13 years and now I want to call amapoyisa?”

She says the abuse started shortly after she gave birth to their first child, Bathiyane (now 8). “Bathiyane was three days old at the time. Buyile asked me to take a bath with him and I refused. I told him I’d just given birth and wasn’t used to my body.

“He got angry and took a belt and started hitting me with the buckle. I was on the floor as he was hitting me and I remember thinking, oh my God, my child is on the bed.” Carol struggles to compose herself before she continues.

“That’s how the abuse started. It would be klap here, a fist, a blue eye, then it was a closed eye, then it was stitches. I think the biggest mistake I made, and a lot of abused women are guilty of this, was I protected him. I would shut myself in my home for weeks, nursing my wounds.”

She points to a scar above her left eye. “That was 2003,” she says. “I was breastfeeding and stood up to put the baby down. I’d been drinking tea and had left the mug on the table next to me and when I stood up the mug fell, spilling tea everywhere.

Read the full article in the Drum of 19 August 2010

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