It was OK to smack my girlfriend gently - DJ

2015-08-13 17:35
Donald Sebolai (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Donald Sebolai (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Former Jozi FM DJ Donald Sebolai, who was the radio station's voice against child and women abuse, admitted to assaulting his girlfriend Dolly Tshabalala several times to "get her in line".

"You were the spokesperson against women abuse, but you are saying the person in your life can sometimes be slapped around to get them in line. Did you just hear yourself?" prosecutor Elize le Roux asked Sebolai on Thursday. 

"I think you are misunderstanding me. You think I am speaking about a hard slap that will leave an injury or bruising. It does not have to be hard," he said.

Le Roux was cross-examining Sebolai in the High Court sitting in Palm Ridge in his trial for Tshabalala's murder.

The crowd in the court gallery including Tshabalala's mother, gasped at his words. Others chuckled as Sebolai pressed on, standing firm on his argument soft slaps did no harm. 

Judge Cassim Moosa attempted to get clarity from the DJ and asked whether he had heard Sebolai correctly. 

"Yes... Just a little [slap]," he replied. 

Seemingly frustrated with Le Roux's line of questioning, Sebolai tried to explain himself. 

"How I wish you were there to see what I am talking about. That is why there is no case against me [in terms of] ever assaulting Dolly," he said.

Le Roux said it was possible Tshabalala never opened a case against him because he had convinced her not to do so. She may also have felt sorry for him.

"Or maybe she realised her mistakes," Sebolai quickly replied.  

Wrestling over a steak knife

Tshabalala was found dead in June last year in Sebolai's flat, laying in a pool of blood on his bed. 

She had a stab wound from her pelvic bone to her thigh. 

Sebolai has previously testified Tshabalala was injured when the two had wrestled over a steak knife, which she had used to stab him on his fingers while accusing him of cheating on her.  

"The picture you have painted is the deceased killed herself,"  Le Roux said to Sebolai. 

"That is your opinion. What I said was we struggled over a knife," he said. 

It was Sebolai's first day of cross-examination after spending days explaining his relationship with Tshabalala. 

For the first time, he offered an apology to Tshabalala's family.

"If Dolly's family is in court, I ask they forgive me," he said, adding he would never forget what happened on that day. 

Tshabalala's mother Elizabeth Marawa was in court, seated on the third bench of the public gallery. 

During an adjournment, she told reporters she did not accept Sebolai's apology. 

Sebolai told the court he often asked himself why he did not just stand there and allow Tshabalala to stab him.

He said he was "heartbroken Dolly was dead" and said he lived with flashbacks of the incident.  

Sebolai's case was adjourned on Thursday.

He was expected back in the dock on Friday morning.

Read more on:    donald sebolai  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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