Neville Pillay and his ex-wife, Karol. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo African News Agency (ANA)
Neville Pillay and his ex-wife, Karol. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo African News Agency (ANA)

DJ Neville Pillay claims ex-wife abused him in Facebook video

By Chanelle Lutchman Time of article published Oct 9, 2020

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Durban – Neville Pillay, a former radio presenter and comedian, has accused his wife of abuse in a 9-minute video he posted last week.

He allegedly recorded the video at 3am last Thursday in a car parked outside a dialysis centre where he received treatment because he had been kicked out of his home.

He alleged that he had been assaulted by his ex-wife, Karol Pillay, with whom he has shared a home for the past few years.

“Can you see that? That’s my injuries, okay. That’s from my ex-wife Karol.

She beat me up last night, badly, in front of my kids and that was the last straw.”

He said he and Karol had divorced in 2008 but, despite several break-ups, always got back together because he could not live without his kids.

“I always go back for my kids. But this time, it has gone too far. I’ve suffered abuse from the hands of this woman for too long, no matter how she sweet talks others into believing otherwise.”

He claimed that a few days before he had smoked dagga to help control pain.

Pillay claimed that Karol had punched him in the face, hit him with a broomstick on his head, cut his foot and smacked him over the head numerous times with his laptop bag. An iPad inside the bag broke.

“Smoking weed doesn’t make you a junkie. I smoked one joint. I might as well be called a medical junkie as I take so many tablets to get rid of this pain ... I’ve been suffering abuse at the hands of this woman for more than 20 years. I kept quiet. No one wanted to believe me when I told them. I was told to keep quiet or my career will be over if she said anything … men are abused too. I’ve been abused for many, many years.”

In July last year, Pillay’s daughter Jordan posted a plea on Facebook. She said that Pillay had had a mild stroke which had left him partially-sighted.

Compounded by Type 2 diabetes, Pillay’s kidneys were failing and he required dialysis treatment. However, the family did not have medical aid or money for the treatment.

He was also told that without the dialysis he would die within months.

At the time, Pillay’s nephrologist confirmed his kidneys were in their final stages and that he would need dialysis at least three times a week. Sponsors came forward and Pillay was able to receive treatment.

In the video, Pillay said the money donated towards his treatment last year had been “used up” and this was the reason he was being abused.

Pillay opened a case of theft and assault against Karol at the Durban Central police station that same night.

A day later, Pillay posted again on Facebook that he got help (clothes, medication and other equipment he needs) from a few people. He said his lawyers would deal with his alleged abuser.

At the weekend, he shared a third video. He said he had not receive clothing or medication from his family and that he was leaving everything in God’s hands.

For Karol Pillay, her husband Neville’s video came as a surprise.

The 47-year-old said three days earlier, she had found out that he had smoked dagga with a friend.

“He said he was going to a pharmacy for medication because he had a script,” said Karol. “A few hours went by and he didn’t return. I then found out that he had been smoking weed somewhere. When he got home, I confronted him.”

She said she told him that he smelt of cannabis and that she would not allow him into the home. Karol said he told her that it was his business and no one could stop him.

“Weed is a trigger of the past for my kids and I,” said Karol. “That same day, I booked him in at a guest house on Essenwood (now Stephen Dlamini) Road for two nights at R600 a night so he could calm down. We could not be in that situation.”

She said he called her that evening to tell her he would not mention dagga again at home. Two days later (last Wednesday), Karol said he came home.

“He told us that the weed was his pain medication and that he wanted us to allow him to keep it in our home. We know about his pain and we always tried to accommodate him. When we found out that he started smoking weed again, we got him CBD (cannabidiol) oil from a pharmaceutical company.

“Neville said it was not helping, so we bought different oils. We always made sure that the oils he was taking were the right one but he didn’t want that. He wanted the feeling of a high that weed puts you on.”

Karol said Neville insisted the cannabis be kept at home. Out of anger, she threw her coffee cup on the floor.

“By this time Neville was raging mad. He called me names. He taunted me about drugs. He said that I did nothing for him and he even swore my kids. My youngest daughter was crying. She asked him to stop. He brought a knife from the kitchen and held it to his fistula (on the arm, created for dialysis to cause extra blood to flow into a vein) and said ‘end me now, you know you want to’.”

She said she got the knife away from him and called his mother and her parents.

“He kept egging me on by saying ‘hit me, hit me’ and I slapped him on the face. That’s all I did. I never punched him. I picked up the broom to sweep the glass pieces of my cup but he stepped on it. Eventually, we told him to leave and we packed his stuff. At no point did I hit him with a broom, or beat him with his laptop bag.”

Karol said he messaged her that evening to inform her that he intended opening a criminal case against her.

The POST has seen text messages from Pillay that confirm this.

In one message, he said he would report his vehicle missing if Karol did not answer her phone. The car was, however, still parked at home.

She received another message in which Neville claimed he was at the police station.

Karol said she eventually fell asleep.

The following morning, she said friends and family called to see if she and their children were okay.

“That’s how I found out about the video that he made. His fans messaged me and called me names. They wished bad things on me and my kids.”

She denied that he was kept in a room. She said they lived in a three-bedroom home and they each accommodated him.

“If Neville wants to sleep in another room, we move out and leave him there.

If he wants something to eat, we make it. If he had an itch, we would scratch it. My kids are around their father 80% of the day. When people visit, we call him to sit with us. Neville has never been alone.”

Karol said Neville was given a second chance at life.

“On the same day he released the video, his medical aid had kicked in and I was supposed to get tested to see if I could donate my kidney to him. It’s really sad what he has put us through.”

Jordan Pillay, Neville and Karol’s 18-year-old daughter, has labelled her father a “master manipulator”.

She said she was disappointed by what he had done.

“After all that we have done for him and how much we have loved and cared for him, he is going around saying that I’m part of his alleged abuse? It’s shocking because it’s not true. If my mom really beat up my dad, I would stand up for him. No child would want to see her parent hurt,” said Jordan. “When he said that I do nothing for him in that clip, it really hurt me because I have been constantly at his side since his health scare last year. We are with him. We help him walk around. I massaged his body from aches and pains. I have put off doing my GED (general educational development) test because I wanted to focus on my dad and his health.”

Jordan said she believed her father had planned the events leading up to the video.

“I feel like he knew what he wanted to do. He wanted to slam our family because we were not comfortable with him smoking. He always told my mom that she needed to speak about abuse and become an activist against it and she hasn’t done that, so I guess he has taken on this personality.

“My dad is a master manipulator and knows how to get to us. It’s sad that my dad is leading everyone to believe that he is being abused at home, because he isn’t.

It’s even sadder that he’s talking about encouraging other men who are being abused. I don’t want the real victims to be fooled by him.

“If my dad was really being abused, wouldn’t the nurses at the dialysis centre see marks on him when we went with him? It’s their duty to report abuse.”

Jordan said while she was not sure about the future of her relationship with her father, she prayed he would get help.

“There’s a number of people who seem to want to help my dad on social media. I need them to understand that he needs psychological help, not money and extravagant things. He needs to do a full check and be treated for his underlying mental conditions. That’s the only way to help him.”

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