Leigh Matthews’ killer asks for retrial

2011-08-11 09:32

Donovan Moodley, the convicted killer of 21-year-old student Leigh Matthews, has asked for a retrial to prove who her real killers are.

In his 300-page application to the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, Moodley claimed that he did not kill Matthews, but hid the truth for seven years because he feared for his life, The Star reported.

Moodley was found guilty of murdering Matthews after he kidnapped her from the Bond University campus in Sandton, Johannesburg, in July 2004.

He held her for several hours before taking R50 000 ransom money from her father, and he then shot her.

He was sentenced to life in prison for the murder, 15 years for the kidnapping and 10 years for extortion by Judge Joop Labuschagne in August 2005.

Moodley claims in the application, that three drug dealers, called Frank, Allie and Jemba, forced him to kidnap Matthews.

This was after their attempt to kidnap a French student, named Gasper, didn’t go as planned.

He said he didn’t know the drug dealers but wanted to help them kidnap Gasper because he owed them money and was wealthy.

Moodley said he was so scared of the three that he left Bond University, but they tracked him down at home, the report indicated.

They informed him that they couldn’t find Gasper, and were desperate for money. This led to the kidnapping of Matthews.

He claims that Frank called Matthews’ family and demanded a ransom of R300 000 and it was Jemba who shot her in the back of the head, while he was forced to watch. Moodley said he was terrified and begged him not to kill her.

Matthews’ father, Rob, has described Moodley’s attempt as diabolical.

“Seven years later and now he has another version of the truth. I find it diabolical,” he told The Star.

Lead investigator in the case Piet Byleveld questioned his plea at the time of the court case.

“He had an excellent defence counsel at the time. Why then did he plead guilty?” said Byleveld.

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