Local radio DJ Donald Sebolai was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the murder of Wits secretary Rachel “Dolly” Tshabalala in June 2014.
By Riante Naidoo
Bad sex was said to be one of the reasons that JoziFM DJ, Donald Sebolai wanted to leave his girlfriend, Flavia Rachel “Dolly” Tshabalala, a Wits secretary, last June. She was allegedly murdered by him last year. Police, friends and family were aware of her abusive relationship and said they “saw her death coming”. Sebolai’s trial began on Monday in the Johannesburg High Court where he pleaded not guilty to all charges against him. The trials continues.
The use of bad sex as one of the reasons that a popular DJ killed his girlfriend, a Wits secretary, last year was “outrageous”, according to director of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies and associate law professor, Bonita Meyersfeld.
“If you don’t perform your role as a sex object, then it’s okay to kill you?” asks Meyersfeld of the alleged abuse and killing of Flavia Rachel “Dolly” Tshabalala.
Tshabalala was allegedly killed by her Jozi FM DJ boyfriend, Donald Sebolai, 38, last June. His murder trial resumed at the Johannesburg High Court in Palm Ridge, Ekurhuleni on Monday, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges.
A key witness who testified on Monday was Warrant Officer Pheepa Mabitsi. According to media reports, Mabitsi said Sebolai told him the reason he wanted Tshabalala to leave their Soweto flat was because her vagina had “stretched” and the sex was bad.
He added that Tshabalala packed her belongings and left in his presence in March last year.
Mabitsi knew the couple as Tshabalala previously lodged domestic abuse complaints about Sebolai. He added that she was encouraged to file a protection order but did not want to.
According to Tshabalala’s childhood friend, Nonhlanhla Mkhize, she and Tshabalala’s family “saw her death coming,” due to the abusive relationship that she was having with Sebolai.
Prof. Jackie Dugard, director of the Gender Equity Office, said “there is clearly a problem of sexism and patriarchy in abusive relationships.”
Tshabalala was said to have reported several incidents. According to media reports, Mabitsi said that Tshabalala approached police when a second incident occurred. “Sebolai had started with his behaviour again – threatening to beat and kill her.”
Media reports said that Isaac Kubeka, the investigating officer in the case, said Sebolai would mislead the court if he does not say: “I hate women,” as he did when Kubeka interviewed him after his arrest last July.
Media reports indicated that Tshabalala was stabbed in her lower abdomen and that the wound extended to the root of her right thigh. Her death was caused by excessive blood loss and hypovolemic shock, which is a life-threatening condition caused by the loss of more than 20% of blood and other bodily fluid.
Reports indicated that Sebolai also faces charges of theft and defeating the ends of justice when he allegedly disposed of some of Tshabalala’s bloodied clothes, stole her car and planned to flee to Botswana after he allegedly killed her.
Murder accused, JoziFM DJ, Donald Sebolai, will take the stand tomorrow in the Johannesburg High Court in Palm Ridge, Ekurhuleni where his trial will resume. Sebolai allegedly killed his girlfriend, Rachel “Dolly” Tshabalala, a Wits secretary and part-time student, last June. He allegedly stabbed her to death according to a forensic report, but and pleaded not guilty, DNA samples found on items of clothing after the murder match his.
The trial of murder accused, JoziFM DJ, Donald Sebolai, will resume tomorrow in the Johannesburg High Court in Palm Ridge, Ekurhuleni. Sebolai pleaded not guilty to the murder of his girlfriend, Rachel “Dolly” Tshabalala, a Wits secretary and part-time student, last June.
Media reports said that last Thursday, 30 July, senior forensic analyst, Captain Phineas Masetla testified in the DJ’s murder trial in the Johannesburg High Court. He said that DNA samples found on items of clothing after the murder matched Sebolai and Tshabalala’s.
Nonhlanhla Mkhize, a friend of Tshabalala’s since they were five, also testified. In a previous interview with Mkhize, she told Wits Vuvuzela she received a call from Sebolai confessing to Tshabalala’s murder. Mkhize added that she does not believe Sebolai “will get the sentence he deserves” and that both she and Tshabalala’s family “saw her death coming”.
Media reports indicated that Sebolai also faces charges of theft and defeating the ends of justice after he allegedly stole Tshabalala’s car and tried to hide some of the bloodied clothes.”
The reports added that he initially planned to flee to Botswana after he confessed to Mkhize about the murder. She then reported the matter to the police.
Tshabalala worked in the Wits School of Civil Engineering, and was studying towards a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in psychology at the Wits Plus centre for part-time students.
Professor Ian Jandrell, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment referred to Tshabalala as “a revered and much-appreciated staff member.”
Sebolai hosted a weekday chat show which focused on gender equality and issues of safety for women and children.