Sonia Mbhele opens up after posting statement: ‘For me this is family and not just a trending topic’

Actress Sonia Mbhele speaks to Drum after releasing a media statement about her son Donell Mbele being accused of assaulting his girlfriend.

Actress Sonia Mbhele speaks to Drum after releasing a media statement about her son Donell Mbele being accused of assaulting his girlfriend.

It was a hectic few days trending on social media for something she hadn’t done.

Veteran actress and producer Sonia Mbele has been in an uproar after her son Donell was accused of assaulting his girlfriend Reokeditswe Makete.

Pictures circulated, so she released a statement saying he must be held accountable for his actions.

Speaking exclusively to Drum, Sonia says it’s been a hectic few days and that “there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that people don’t know about”.

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“I didn’t see that coming. They’ve been together for a while and they were so close and in love. When this happened I immediately put them both together and decided to send my son away for help.

“I realized that if he’s anything like his dad, he’s going to need help right away. His father was abusive but I stayed for nine years because I was in love, wanted to build something and thought things would change.

“I am frustrated.

“I’m frustrated because I want to please my son, I want to agree with her and I want to agree with society, but I realize I’m not an octopus.”

She says it was important to her to speak up as soon as this became public.

“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that running away doesn’t help. Instead, it prolongs things. It’s better to face the music.

“For me, this is family and not just a trending topic on social media.

“Like I said, she’s studying at AFDA and I said I would mentor and nurture her in the industry because she’s really important to me.”

There are people on social media who are accusing her of infuriating her ex-husband Lesley Sedibe for speaking out about previous abuse she suffered in a relationship where she was from the age of 17 to was her 26th year.

“I didn’t name names, I didn’t talk about my ex-husband. I would never do that to Lesley,” Sonia clarifies.

“I was talking about Donell’s father but people just assumed I was talking about Lesley.

“I met Lesley when I was 28 years old. However, what I’m not going to do is sit down with people and go through the math.”

Sonia says that as parents and mothers, it’s important to “fix” their kids.

“I love all my four children 1000%, anyone who knows me will tell you that. I live for her.

“You are the reason I wake up in the morning and grind. But I know what happened was wrong, whether it was retaliation or not, it was wrong.

“We live in South Africa where there is a high probability that someone you love will be accused of abuse and we cannot walk away from it. Instead, as parents, we should focus on our children instead of distracting them.”

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Donell is already in rehab, she says.

“This didn’t happen on Tuesday, it happened on November 4th and I sent my son to rehab immediately the next day. So by the time this became public, he was already gone.

“As a mother, you want to love and support your children in everything, but that doesn’t mean you have to condone things that are wrong.”

She says it’s not fair that she leans towards what her adult son did, but she understands.

“It comes with the name. Also, people want someone to take the blame. But I’m not going to sit here and feel like a victim.”

Her son, Sonia adds, is a good kid.

“He’s a good boy. He asks permission before using the car. I’m involved in all aspects of my children’s lives. But having said that, what happened was wrong.”


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