Moodley freaked out when Leigh's body found

2012-01-26 19:15

Johannesburg - Convicted murderer Donovan Moodley did not contact police after Leigh Matthews' body was discovered because he was afraid, the South Gauteng High Court heard on Thursday.

"I was sitting at home watching the media coverage on television," Moodley said.

"The reason I did not go to the police was [that] I was totally afraid and freaked out."

Moodley was found guilty in 2005 of Matthews' murder and kidnapping and the extortion of her father. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, 15 years for kidnapping, and 10 years for extortion.

Moodley lodged an application for a retrial on Wednesday, representing himself.

His argument rests on a claim that three Nigerian drug dealers - Frank, Allie and Jemba - kidnapped Matthews and murdered her.

Moodley said former investigating officer Piet Byleveld forced him to say he had done it alone because he could not lead police to the three.


Evidence found in Matthews' car was tampered with. Moodley claimed a lottery ticket with his fingerprint on it was faked to frame him.

"There is no lotto ticket in the police's inventory," he said.

A footprint, allegedly belonging to Frank, was destroyed or lost by police.

This proved that "all the hullabaloo I have made about the confession is indeed true", Moodley said.

Earlier, prosecutor Zaais Van Zyl argued that Moodley was afforded the opportunity to tell the court if he had been coerced into making the confession in the original trial.

"He was asked, have you read the statement? Do you understand the statement?... Do you plead guilty of your own free will?" Van Zyl quoted from the 2005 transcript.

Van Zyl said Moodley had the chance then to tell his version of the truth, if he had lied originally.

No proof

"He makes the sweeping statement that everything he needs was destroyed by Byleveld.

"There is absolutely no proof that it ever existed."

Moodley said the statement he gave when pleading guilty in the trial was not corroborated by the police investigation.

"I was a young defenceless man who was crushed by the weight of the State."

Moodley said his home, including cupboards and two deep freezers where a body could have been hidden, were never searched or forensically tested.

"The public have been led to believe that something has been investigated that never was."

In Moodley's rebuttal of Van Zyl's arguments against a retrial, he said the State's only answer to his arguments on Wednesday was that they were improbable.

"There are many improbable stories out there in the world that are true."

Moodley said he wished he could get a clip of an Oprah Winfrey show he once watched about innocent people who pleaded guilty.

"History is replete with innocent men being burnt at the stake... I saw an entire Oprah show about similar cases."

  • mishymoo - 2012-01-26 19:31

    Seems he has had plenty of time to craft this fantasy!

      planetdonovan - 2012-01-26 19:36

      and it's not very imaginative

      Squeegee - 2012-01-26 19:37

      He is delusional.

      Rudie - 2012-01-27 09:36

      Why only now ? Get the Mythbusters on this.

  • Vegi - 2012-01-26 19:37

    News24, give us a break. We are tired of reading about this criminal and his lame excuses. However, I am pleased to see that he has lost weight, indicating that he is suffering behind bars, considering the barbarous manner in which he handled that innocent girl.

      planetdonovan - 2012-01-26 19:45

      i'm sure the fact that news24 makes money from advertising each time we read a new article with one new statement from mr. moodley is entirely coincidental.

      Billy - 2012-01-27 08:05

      Agree-News24 keeps putting out "new" articles with fresh headlines, but the contents are simply one "new" fact and then a rehash of previous reports. Lazy,sloppy journalism. A small mercy though is the fact that they don't put an "!" after each headline like they do in their trashy tabloid, the Sun.

  • Jymiro - 2012-01-26 19:40

    I was watching Moodley on TV doing his testimony. I am impressed the way he presented compelling arguments, taking into account that he does not have a legal background. This chapter need to be closed at least his arguments must be taken into account. He didn't argue for his innocence, he said he knows that he has a case to answer on the part that he played in the murder. For justice sake I appeal that the Judge rule in his favour. If evidence was tempered with, the witness didn't charge his statement, he was intimidated during interrogation (apartheid style of getting information), was not coerce to make confession, all processes of collecting and verifyiing evidence were done properly, we don't have to fear for a retrial. This is my last appeal to all South Africans to stand by our constitution.

      planetdonovan - 2012-01-26 19:43

      he was convicted under the constitution and that is good enough for me

      Sheik - 2012-01-26 20:16

      He could have spilt the beans long ago, if he was innocent. He just has too much time on his hands to come up with new stories. I still believe the death penality should have been kept for people like these. The Matthew's family could have been spared him popping up every now and then, trying to wiggle out of jail.

      Johnnie - 2012-01-26 20:37

      We all know what the outcome of a trial would be. Giving him another trial will just be one hell of an expense to the taxpayer.Send him back to jail and throw the key away.

      Michael Woody Wood - 2012-01-26 21:20


      ritz.seetaram - 2012-01-26 21:26

      I agree with Jymiro... I'm not saying he's innocent, I'm just saying WHAT IF? What if anything of what he says is true and other involved in Leigh's murder has gotten away. Is this really justice?

      Phillys - 2012-01-26 22:29

      your last appeal? Excellent, then we dont have to hear your utter crap that you post any more!!! what a relief!!!

      Merven - 2012-01-27 07:19

      Moodley is not innocent, but it will be nice if the other people (if so) are also caught. Even Byleveld said on numerous occasions that Moodley did not act alone. @planetdonovan: many high level criminals are not convicted under the constitution, but defended by it. Do you really want to put your faith in the constitution?

      planetdonovan - 2012-01-27 07:29

      @merven if you're referring to the government, i take your point. otherwise, please name one or two of these "high level" criminals.

      inwardk - 2012-01-27 10:07

      Jymiro, Maybe you and other like-minded people should pay all fees associated with the retrial - then you may not be quite as keen. There is absolutely nothing that prevents Moodley from issuing a statement TODAY filling in the gaps - why doesn't he do that? Because he enjoys toying with the public, playing little cat & mouse intrigue games, inventing new lies, oh the attention, the attention is so gooood! Moodley is one sick individual, it is SUCH A PITY he was not put to death.

  • buzzardfrey - 2012-01-26 19:40

    Reality of a life time sentence beginning to sink? Or is he watching too much 'Medical Detectives'? Maybe we should try the death penalty for restless souls like he is.

  • Mark Milligan - 2012-01-26 19:43

    The guy is a big freak

  • Nurse - 2012-01-26 19:56

    Geez, can we stop with these Moodley stories already? Who cares? He just wants attention, so stop feeding him.

  • Steyn - 2012-01-26 19:56

    Ag STOP this nonsense! Give us news.

  • Sheik - 2012-01-26 20:08

    Not the sharpest spade in the shed.

  • Greg - 2012-01-26 20:23

    I think the only thing that 'freaked' Moodley out was shower hour in prison,it would make anybody change there tune.

  • Eddie - 2012-01-26 20:53

    Mr Moodley doesnt deserve a 2nd trail or hearing,The Matthew's family will never get a 2nd chance to bring back there daughter,they have been throught enought and this evil man must rot in jail.TRUTH ALWAYS PREVAILS.

      Merven - 2012-01-27 07:22

      Yes he doesn't deserve a second hearing, but if he had accomplishes, they deserve to be trailed also.

  • Boshate - 2012-01-26 20:57

    Give that man a bell's

  • Ian - 2012-01-26 21:30

    news 24, i am begging you, please stop reporting everything this savage cockroach says, i cant stand it anymore, I have been trying to imagine what Rob and Sharon and family are going through and I cant even come close, I hate moodley I wish he would just go away and bury himself in the deepest hole in hell

  • Johannes Van Der Walt - 2012-01-26 21:33

    Ah yes of course, the Oprah defence.....

      inwardk - 2012-01-27 10:11

      Yes I also thought this was classic. The best.

  • Phillys - 2012-01-26 22:27

    Hey Mr moooodley!!!! I see you have some supppottas commenting here tonight!!! How sweet!!! Even sweeter is your cell mate, Bubba ( Mr Mom) , who is waiting eagerly for you to come back to the cell and put on some lipstick and lingerie!!!!

  • Craig - 2012-01-27 01:08

    So where are Frank, Allie and Jemba???

      Passionate.Parrot - 2012-01-27 11:23

      Exactly, why did he not tell of this, he claims they were sitting in the after all these years he comes with this story. Where on earth does he think they will be found....very convienent I would say.

  • Brent - 2012-01-27 01:36

    Physco, You did the crime, do the time. Bring back the death penalty now!

  • faannagel - 2012-01-27 07:49

    He is just wasting our time and money..the courts got better things to attend to.

  • Russell - 2012-01-27 07:51

    Find Allie, Jemba and co get more facts , interogate Bayleveldt and lets see.............??

  • Audrey - 2012-01-27 08:14

    Has the poor Matthews Family not been through enough .... Classic case of 'pay the time, if you commit the crime' May Leigh rest in peace & may the Matthews Family eventually find peace.

      THE_SAINT - 2012-01-27 09:07

      Audrey for as long as this oki is harping that he wants to tell the truth they not gonna get peace, that's the sad part

      Passionate.Parrot - 2012-01-27 11:25

      I agree with you Audrey, how awful for them to go through all this again. I hope and pray that after this they will give him extra time for the pain he is causing them and the waste of the courts time.

  • Mlungisi - 2012-01-27 08:56

    Give him retrial - if his so called facts make sense with regards to the case and not how we feel about him.

  • valentine.monroe - 2012-01-27 08:59

    He should be declared delusional

  • THE_SAINT - 2012-01-27 09:05

    Oprah might just buy him a car...

      Passionate.Parrot - 2012-01-27 11:31

      Thats a good one The Saint. He is nuts.

  • Rudie - 2012-01-27 09:22

    Curry anyone?

  • Ronwynne - 2012-01-27 10:34

    Surely the truth should be allowed to come out. I never believed he acted alone and would like to know the FULL story. If he was dealing with drug dealers, I think it makes sense that he would want to protect his family, hence the reason for his guilty plea 7 years ago. Give him the re-trial, lets see what comes of it.

      Passionate.Parrot - 2012-01-27 11:33

      Too late, why is he not worrying about their safety now? Big question. No he just expects to be freed on his version of the story, we must just believe him........How are they going to be found. If they ever existed in the first place.

  • Passionate.Parrot - 2012-01-27 11:20

    I personaly think that his watching the Oprah show has given him the idea now to plead not guilty. He got his first idea from the kidnapping from watching a movie. He has cooked all this up while in jail, probaby with the help of his inmates. How on earth are you going to plead guilty if you are not? It is usually the other way, criminals always plead 'Not Guilty' which is what he is doing now.

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