Johannesburg - “I wish he was dead,” said Nkele Marawa, about four hours after she received news that Jozi FM presenter Donald Sebolai had been taken into custody.
“I wish he was dead, wherever he is,” she spat out, a mixture of pain and anger palpable in her voice and demeanour.
“Donald Duck”, as he is popularly known to his listeners, had been on the run for a week after allegedly stabbing and killing Rachel “Dolly” Tshabalala, Marawa’s daughter, on Sunday June 29.
Tshabalala, 32, was
buried on Saturday
Speaking from her home in Rockville, Soweto, Marawa said Tshabalala’s slaying had badly affected her. “We are not happy about the arrest. It will never bring back my one and only daughter. We are still in pain, but only God knows.”
Marawa said her 7-year-old granddaughter keeps asking
about her mother. “We have taken her for counselling, which helped to calm her down. But, she’s still asking (after her mother)… It hurts us a lot.”
Tshabalala was studying towards a psychology degree at the Wits Plus centre for part-time studies when she was murdered.
Her best friend, Nhlanhla Mkhize, discovered her body in Sebolai’s Jabulani flat after the DJ had allegedly phoned her to confess to the murder earlier that morning.
A short while later, police discovered Tshabalala’s abandoned car about 2km from the flat, with clothing and empty bottles of alcohol in the back.
At the time, Mkhize said she had been informed that Tshabalala’s bank card and another card belonging to the dead woman’s mother had also been found in the car.
It appeared as though Sebolai had used Tshabalala’s card to pay for two transactions of R100 and R25 worth of airtime on Sunday, the morning of the incident, according to notifications seen by Mkhize on her friend’s cellphone.
Tshabalala had been stabbed repeatedly around her genital area, according to Mkhize. There were no other visible wounds on her body.
On Tuesday, as news of Sebolai’s arrest spread, the images that Mkhize had seen on the dreadful day of her friend’s murder flooded her mind.
“All the memories of her came back. Those few hours of the day were really difficult to handle. She didn’t deserve to die like this. All we want from him is to tell us why he killed Dolly. I would really appreciate it if he is sentenced to life imprisonment,” said Mkhize.
Tshabalala’s in-laws have welcomed Sebolai’s arrest, saying they hoped it would answer all the questions they had and bring closure to an unhappy incident in their lives.
“We are relieved… However, this… will never bring her back,” said Aubrey, Tshabalala’s brother-in-law.
Earlier, Sebolai smiled and exchanged words with his radio station colleagues while photographers captured pictures of him at the Jabulani police station. He was arrested shortly after 10am in Dube, not far from his offices.
Police said they had received a tip-off on Monday evening.
“We received information last night that he had been hiding in a certain house in a particular street. Our police officers started (monitoring the house).
“In the morning, he left the house unaware that he was being followed by the police. This was until our officers approached him on Mncube Drive, and he was arrested,” said police spokesman Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela.
He said Sebolai was on his way to Pretoria at the time of his arrest.
Makhubela said those who had assisted the DJ while he was on the run would be investigated and arrests made.
He said police had received a number of leads during the investigation and the R50 000 reward would be paid out to the person who helped police nab their man. Police said they would meet the person who supplied the tip-off.
At exactly 12.09pm on Tuesday, just as Sebolai’s mid-morning show would have been finishing, a jangle of police keys signalled the end of the DJ’s period on the run.
He would be sharing a police cell with at least nine others.
Sebolai is expected to appear in court soon.