Judgements an indictment of domestic violence



Both cases were high profile murder cases involving high profile young people who were – at the time their separate unfortunate incidents happened – still in the prime of their youth and had just about everything going for them, including a bright future, money, fame and just about everything today’s young people clamour for.

These were not isolated murder cases where the victims were pounced upon by unknown armed assailants in a dark street corner in some dingy township or informal housing settlement. Both killers and their victims knew each other and, worse still, they were all romantically linked and living together as ‘married’ couples under the same roof.

But like everything else in life, for both young couples, even though they seemed madly in love with each other, reality was somewhat out of sync with their life plans. And as always, like in all love affairs, arguments erupted and trying to deal with them rationally became part of their problem-solving mechanisms, seemingly, without success.

Radio DJ Donald Sebolai was a top disc spinner for Jozi FM – one of South Africa’s foremost youth radio stations with a following of thousands of young listeners. Most of them ate from the palm of his hand and danced to his tunes. But in a single moment of anger and stupidity, the young Sebolai wiped all that out of his young life in exchange for a 20-year prison term for the murder of the woman he professed to love.

Anenele Manqele, an orphan, was living and studying in Scotland before her colourful, promising future was abruptly brought to a traumatic halt as she too allowed a surge of blind fury to cloud her reasoning as she plunged the blade of a sharp knife into her rapper boyfriend and lover Flabba Habedi’s body in a moment of heightened emotions.

There is a moral lesson for all of us in what has happened to the lives of Anenele Manqele and DJ Donald Sebolai. And the moral lesson is our ability to deal with our anger and our emotions. As my newsroom mentor Bra Mike Mazurki Phahlane would always say, “Just think of all the good things you can be if you keep your head squarely on your shoulders.”

Violence or the use thereof in resolving one’s personal misunderstanding and those between our friends, families and colleagues is never a clever idea for a smart person. And perhaps to rehash my mentor’s wise words to both: “Just think of all the good things you’d be by now, if only you had learnt to restrain your anger.”

As Sebolai begins his long jail terms for his evil deeds and Manqele awaits the outcome of her 12-year jail term appeal, may the souls of their respective victims rest in eternal peace.

Zaid Khumalo

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