Killer DJ wails in court

2016-02-10 17:06

Johannesburg – Convicted killer Donald Sebolai wailed, shook his head, and blew his nose as he told the High Court sitting in Palm Ridge that he did not kill his girlfriend, Dolly Tshabalala.

Testifying in mitigation of his sentence on Wednesday, the former DJ at one point looked at Tshabalala's mother, Elizabeth Marawa, and begged her not to believe what the court had ruled. 

"Mama, you know that we loved each other," he said. 

Marawa, who was wearing a headscarf and large brown sunglasses and sitting in the front row of the public gallery, seemed unmoved.

After proceedings, she said it seemed as though Sebolai was getting more emotional because he realised the end was near. 

The former Jozi FM DJ, who used to host a gospel show on Thursdays, was found guilty of murder in October last year.

He told the court he never stabbed Tshabalala. He was asked whether she stabbed herself. Sebolai said she had as they fought for a knife which she had used to cut his fingers.  

"I did not stab Dolly. I refuse to accept that," he said. 

Tshabalala was found lying in a pool of blood in Sebolai's bed in his Soweto flat in June 2014. She had a single stab wound to the pelvic area. The knife severed an artery and she bled to death.

Prosecutor Elize le Roux was unmoved by his tears and said the evidence had showed a pattern of women abuse.

Sebolai had testified that he had slapped Tshabalala  and the mother of one of his three children. He said this did not mean he was a violent person. Slapping them was intended to reprimand them or keep them away from him. 

"Dolly was a clever person. She would have gotten me arrested if I abused her," Sebolai said. 

Le Roux said Tshabalala had laid charges against Sebolai several times, but withdrew them out of pity for him. Sebolai denied this. 

The prosecutor said Sebolai had refused to take responsibility for his actions. She asked him if he would appeal his conviction, since it appeared he did not agree with the court's findings. 

He did not answer, but said he did not wake up that morning with the intention of killing his lover. 

He expressed remorse for what had happened and said both he and Marawa had suffered a great loss. 

"She still needed her. I also still need her," he said. 

Judge Cassim Moosa asked Sebolai why he felt remorseful if he did not kill Tshabalala. He replied that he wished the fight had not happened at all. 

Elizabeth Sebolai-Selekane told the court that her son was a good person and people loved him because he was helpful. He hosted gospel concerts where he collected food for the poor and helped the family financially. 

Crying, she told the court she was shocked when she heard what her son had done.

Sebolai, who sat in the dock with his feet shackled, looked at his feet and wiped his eyes as he listened to her cry. 

The court was on Thursday expected to receive a report from Sebolai's social worker. It had already accepted the report of a psychologist who counselled Tshabalala's daughter. 

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