Donald Sebolai Trial Continues
By Nhlanhla Sehume
It’s week three and once popular Jozi FM DJ Donald Sebolai’s murder trial continues in the South Gauteng High Court sitting in Palm Ridge. One can’t help but ask how Donald Sebolai got here? Let’s not take his talent away from him, his popularity and the fact that many of his listeners drew inspiration from him.
Take myself for example, If I go back to my first encounter with the famed Disc Jockey, as far back as 2009 at the Jozi FM studios in Soweto, I remember how a lanky figure stood at the entrance of the busy studios as he spoke to a male listener who was expressing how much he had enjoyed the popular Thursday Gospel show hosted by Donald Duck – as he was affectionately known.
There was no doubt in my mind that the community of Soweto had grown to love and respect this man, as his big voice and music blared in many of the houses in the township. Even at my home, in Pimville, my father who works from home was an avid listener who always had his radio tuned on to Jozi FM, on every Thursday morning, so this voice that was Sebolai’s became an all too familiar voice.
Fast forward to Eight years down the line, I sit in courtroom 8 of the South Gauteng High Court in Palm Ridge, looking across at Sebolai hearing the all too familiar velvety voice, now telling stories of his rendezvous of heavy drinking with girlfriend Dolly Tsabalala, stories of abuse and his account of events the morning he killed his girlfriend.
Since he took the stand, Sebolai, has opened up about his turbulent relationship with late girlfriend Dolly Tshabalala. He has pleaded innocence to murdering her on that fateful morning on 29 June last year, He disputes the notion that he stabbed and killed Dolly intentionally. Instead he has portrayed himself as a man who did all he could to please a jealous and abusive woman.
The emotional DJ broke down as he described how he struggled for a sharp steak knife with his girlfriend as she attempted to stab him in a jealous rage and how she bled heavily and his shock when he realised she was dead. He spoke fondly of his relationship with Tshabalala and his undying love for her that allowed him to do anything she wished to do, even getting involved in threesomes, saying that he would do anything to please Dolly.
His demeanour changed when he relayed to the court how much he and Dolly fought because of her jealousy and how she often accused him of cheating on her with ‘loose women’. As I turned my head to the direction of the public gallery, one could hear sighs of disbelief, murmuring and see heads shaking. When I spoke to Dolly’s mother Dollys Dikeledi Marawa outside court she said the family is still struggling to come to terms with her daughter’s death.
Mrs. Marawa said she doesn’t believe a word coming out of the popular DJ’s mouth and that as someone who claims to be an advocate against women abuse, it comes as a shock to her that he behaved in the manner that he did. Sebolai surprised all in court, and many burst out laughing as he told the court that he finds nothing wrong with slapping a women just to ‘get her in line’. It’s up to the court to decide Donald Sebolai’s fate, but as the proceedings play out, it certainly is startling to me how a man’s fall from grace has played out in a dramatic fashion.