There will always be question over Leigh: Byleveld

2012-02-01 22:30
Donovan Moodley. Picture: Herman Verwey

Donovan Moodley. Picture: Herman Verwey

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Donovan Moodley's appeal

2012-02-01 13:47

Convicted murderer Donovan Moodley has had his application for a retrial rejected by the South Gauteng High Court. Watch how the event unfolded in court. WATCH

Johannesburg - “Supercop” Piet Byleveld says the kidnapping and murder case of Leigh Matthews will “always have question marks” for him, and that he would take further action if any new information came to light.

Byleveld was speaking outside the South Gauteng High Court on Wednesday, after Donovan Moodley’s last-ditch attempt to appeal his conviction for the kidnapping and murder of Matthews was dismissed by Judge Joop Labuschagne.

Byleveld previously asserted that he believed there were other people who assisted in the murder and kidnapping of Matthews.

Labuschagne said Moodley’s allegation that Byleveld had forced him to admit to the murder and kidnapping of the 21-year-old Bond University student were “bold and unacceptable”.

True version

Labuschagne found that Moodley’s “true version” of the events surrounding Matthews’s death was “riddled with improbabilities”.

He said the application for leave to appeal his conviction “was a desperate attempt by the applicant [Moodley] not to reveal the truth, but to run away from it”.

Moodley had alleged that the murder and kidnapping of Matthews was orchestrated by three Nigerian drug dealers who had approached him in Bond University’s parking lot.

It was these men, Moodley alleged, who killed Matthews with Moodley’s gun, before handing it and her clothes back to him.

He also alleged that these men had offered him R1m to assist in the kidnapping and extortion of another student.

Self-confessed liar

But Labuschagne said this version of events was “barely believable” and pointed out that Moodley was a “self-confessed liar”.

In his judgment, Labuschagne questioned:

» Why three armed drug dealers would need Moodley’s assistance in a kidnapping and extortion incident;

» Why, if they were already armed, they would have needed Moodley’s gun;

» Why they shot Matthews in front of Moodley and then handed her clothes and his gun back to him;

» Why Moodley had burnt her clothes, and;

» Why Moodley would confess to the crimes if he was at all times aware of his “true version” of events.

Confirmed guilt

Labuschagne also questioned why Moodley had continuously confirmed the statement that he was guilty in various appeals of his sentence, before finally coming out with the “true version” when he wanted to appeal his conviction.

Moodley had previously challenged his sentence of 25 years for murder, fifteen years for kidnapping and ten years for extortion, in various failed applications to the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court.

It was only after all of these attempts had failed, and about six years later, that Moodley attempted to challenge the decision which found him guilty of the crime.

This appeal should have been lodged in fourteen days of conviction, but Moodley also asked the court to excuse the late filing, saying he was not in a position to make the application until some time into his sentence.

But Labuschagne dismissed all Moodley’s applications, saying he had “failed to properly explain why it took him nearly six years”.

Read more on:    donovan moodley  |  piet byleveld  |  leigh matthews  |  leigh matthews case

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