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Donald Sebolai sentenced to 20 years in prison

2016-03-04 13:21


Donald Sebolai (Facebook)

Johannesburg- Judge Cassim Moosa on Friday sentenced former Jozi FM presenter Donald Sebolai to 20 years in prison for the murder of his girlfriend Dolly Tshabalala in the High Court in Palm Ridge, Johannesburg.

Judge Moosa sentenced Sebolai to 20 years for murder and five years for defeating the ends of justice, which will run concurrently. 

The former radio personality has been standing trial for close on two years for the stabbing of Tshabalala in their Soweto flat in June 2014. 

Sebolai was found guilty of murder and obstruction of justice by Judge Cassim Moosa in October 2015, after Sebolai failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt his claims of self-defence.

Throughout the trial Sebolai maintained that Tshabalala was killed in self-defence during a fight between them. Over the past five months various state and defence witnesses, which included Sebolai, took to the stand in mitigation of sentence. 

Sebolai sobbed uncontrollably every time he took to the stand, admitting that he should have done more to save Tshabalala's life, but said that he was "too traumatised" due to his own injury. 

The lengthy court battle drew to close on Friday, much to the relief of Tshabala's family, who have been vocal about the impact the trial has had on them for the past two years. 

In sentencing Judge Moosa said, "The victim is provided a more prominent role during sentencing on how the crime has impacted them. The feelings of society and maintenance of peace must be taken into account but not over stressed." 

While the minimum sentence is 15 years for the charges, Judge Moosa said that in this case he believes that a harsher sentence than the prescribed amount is appropriate. 

Moosa was stern in his ruling, describing it as a "senseless crime" where Sebolai "intended for her to die, nothing more, nothing less" and labelling the disgraced DJ a "coward" for trying to escape and leaving the scene.

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