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Donald Sebolai sentenced to 20 years behind bars

The former Jozi FM DJ murdered his girlfriend Dolly Tshabalala at his Soweto home in 2014.

Former Jozi FM DJ Donald Sebolai sits in the dock ahead of his sentencing for the murder of his girlfriend Dolly Tshabalala. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.
Murder,Donald Sebolai,Dolly Tshabalala
Local

JOHANNESBURG – Donald Sebolai has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The judge said a minimum sentence of 15 years would not be sufficient and based on the high level of gender based violence in the country, this sentence would aim to deter others from committing the same offence.

The convicted murderer, popularly known as DJ Donald Duck, appeared in the High Court in Palm Ridge today.

Sentencing proceedings were brought to a halt due earlier, to a technical error with the recording equipment in court.

He was found guilty of stabbing his girlfriend Dolly Tshabalala to death at his Soweto home during an argument in 2014

He's also been convicted of defeating the ends of justice after going on the run for over a week after the crime, with the court finding he had cleaned the blood stained floor and removed the murder weapon from the scene.

The defence had asked Judge Cassim Moosa for a sentence of no more than 12 years, however, the State pushed for a lengthy sentence.

He said the crime committed and the interest of society must always be considered when handing down a sentence.

He also reflected on evidence submitted by gender violence expert, Professor Rachel Dukes, during the sentencing.

According to Dukes, women were six times more likely to die at the hands of a male partner.

Dukes had testified that in South Africa, it’s easy to assume that the short sentences handed to gender based violence offenders may reflect the country's attitude to femicide.

SELF-DEFENCE

During a previous hearing, Sebolai argued he had an argument with his girlfriend and she wanted to stab him.

He claimed he tried to block the knife with his hands and while he was trying to disarm her, she got stabbed.

A post-mortem report, however, confirmed she died after being stabbed with force in her genitals.

The prosecution pointed out that he cleaned the floor instead of saving Tshabalala’s life on the day of the murder. 

Sebolai admitted during sentence proceedings that he could have saved her life if he rushed her to hospital.

But his legal team argued that he was not a violent man. Last month, a social worker also told the court he was not abusive towards his previous partners.

Last month, however, the convicted killer said he only slapped his previous partners to reprimand them, not to assault them.

According to court records, Sebolai conceded that he had “beaten” Tshabalala along with the mother of his first child, although he now says he only slapped them.

Sebolai has three young children whom he has to support, and a family that’s financially dependent on him.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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