Still questions around Leigh's murder

2012-02-01 12:46

Johannesburg - Murdered student Leigh Matthews's parents say they are still haunted about her murder, and still have many questions about how she died.

An application by her convicted killer, Donovan Moodley, to have a retrial was denied in the South Gauteng High Court on Wednesday.

Moodley was found guilty in 2005 of the 2004 murder and kidnapping of Matthews, 21, and of extorting money from her father. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, 15 years for kidnapping, and 10 years for extortion. He has been in prison ever since.

'Half truths'

Outside the court, Leigh's mother Sharon said she was haunted by questions about her daughter's kidnapping and murder. Leigh's body was found 12 days after she was abducted.

"We don't know the last 12 days where she was left."

Leigh's father Rob said there were "lots of half truths" surrounding the crime.

Sharon Matthews said she was thrilled the investigation was still open.

"We still talk about her every day, we think about her every day."

Former investigating officer Piet Byleveld dismissed Moodley's allegations that he manipulated evidence and forced a confession in order to frame him, but said he was certain Matthews was hijacked.

"But we will always have questions," he said.

'Far-fetched and fanciful'

Moodley's version of the kidnapping and murder was "far-fetched and fanciful", Judge Joop Labuschagne said earlier, as he denied Moodley's application for his conviction to be set aside, or a retrial.

"He also cannot explain why he burned the clothes he was wearing."

This implied he wanted to destroy the evidence.

"I am satisfied that the applicant's version cannot be true. He is a self-confessed liar.

"How can anyone believe that an innocent, intelligent man can plead guilty?"

He dismissed Moodley's claims about the drug dealers he said were involved in the crime. His story was "riddled with improbabilities".

The judge found Moodley had failed to explain the lateness of the application, nearly six years after the sentence had been passed. Moodley failed to prove there were prospects of success for an appeal.

Drug dealers

Moodley began his application for a retrial last Wednesday, choosing to represent himself. Moodley's argument on his claim that three Nigerian drug dealers, Frank, Allie and Jemba, orchestrated the kidnapping and murder.

Moodley claimed Byleveld manipulated evidence and forced a confession in order to frame him. He said this was because he was unable to lead police to the three drug dealers.

Labuschagne rebuked Moodley for attempting to discredit Byleveld and prosecutor Zaais van Zyl in his application.

"Why do we only hear about this alleged police brutality six years after the event?"

Labuschagne said Van Zyl was highly respected and did what was expected of him as an experienced prosecutor.

Moodley previously appealed against his conviction but withdrew this application. He also appealed against his sentence, but this was dismissed.

  • Steven - 2012-02-01 12:48


      procold2 - 2012-02-01 13:57

      i sure there are unanswered questions but for sure this guy is the killer,just need the reasons

  • Sechaba - 2012-02-01 13:06

    now Mr. Moodley, go rest in your cell

      Ian - 2012-02-01 13:19

      rest, whats this rest bs, get him out in the sun , the parks are filthy, roads need fixing, put these prisoners to work, rest se gat

      carpejugulim - 2012-02-01 13:46

      I'll second that Ian, time chain gangs were introduced and prisoners started earning their keep

  • shahrina.ramphaul - 2012-02-01 13:07

    Where are these so called drug dealers now? Oh I forgot - they exist in Moodley's head

      planetdonovan - 2012-02-01 13:14

      now he can get to work on his next story - split personality.

      Deon - 2012-02-01 14:21 what even if they do exist; they're probably laughing their heads off at him now knowing that it wont go any further!

  • Bart - 2012-02-01 13:17

    Moodley had help.

      steve.dupreez - 2012-02-01 13:22

      Why did you help him bart?

      SeeVeeDeeEl - 2012-02-01 14:15

      Bart helped Moodley???

      Easi - 2012-02-01 15:09

      fight fight fight....

      SeeVeeDeeEl - 2012-02-01 17:50

      We must solve this thing.

  • Linda - 2012-02-01 13:22

    Only him and God knows the truth! Let us not stop disciplining our kids to avoid this happening again!!

  • Ian - 2012-02-01 13:34

    yes there are plenty of unanswered questions, the bastard is protecting his now ex girlfriend and his buddies not these so called drug dealers, what gets me is him and his ilk sit in jail watching tv and getting fed at tax payers expense, I already said put these bastards to work, fix the roads, clean our parks, cut the tall grass, but no I suppose its against there pathetic rights. BS, they must pay for there crimes. STUFF THEM AND STUFF THERE RIGHTS TOO. What about Leighs rights? F U YOU STINKING MURDERING RUBBISH, ROT ROT ROT

  • rubee.sook - 2012-02-01 13:36

    Moodley is delusional, and a disgrace to the Indian Community, for robbing a parent of their child who was in the prime of her life. May he never smell freedom again!!

      Stan - 2012-02-01 13:46

      "a disgrace to the Indian Community" ... Yes like Shaik.

      Preggy - 2012-02-01 14:03

      We all have vile scum in our community Stan. The story here is about Moodley, not Schaik! And to Moodley - getting involved with drugs and Nigerians is not a good thing! So whether they pulled the trigger or not doesn't matter. The fact that you were involved makes you guilty as hell. If you were a law abiding citizen with any conscience at all, you should have informed the cops! Now rot in jail you choothia!

      larisha.toffar - 2012-02-01 14:44

      So true and sad. It's always people who have a lot to live for whose lives get ruined or taken away.

      Easi - 2012-02-01 15:16

      Agree with Rubee. Moodley must never see the outside of prison again. @stan While you are making snide remarks about Shaik, dont forget to include your president Jacob Zuma who was pathetic enough to steal millions from Shaik and then refuse to pay him back. He is a disgrace to the black community is he not? Excuse me im going to take a shower now.

  • cosmos.ndebele - 2012-02-01 13:52

    Tragic this case as it is, Leigh s dad was wrong in paying this guy R50000 without informing the Police first. Yhe guilty on this will stay with him forever on this. But i hpe Moodley rots in true hell for his vile deeds.

      Lesley - 2012-02-01 14:08

      Saying Leigh's father was wrong is a bit harsh..... I do not know what I would do if my child was kidnapped and I received a ransom demand. Do you pay and hope your child will be freed, or do you go to the police and hope they get to your child before the kidnappers do their worst? You will not know how you will react until you are faced with the same circumstances. I too hope Moodley never sees the light of day again.

      Ian - 2012-02-01 14:16

      Sherbert Cosmos, what was Rob supposed to do, go to the police and hope for the best, another thing before Piet Byleveld took over the case, the cops didnt have a clue, Piet had him in custody within 48 hours (I think) after taking over the case, Rob was not wrong, he did what any father that adores his child would have done

      larisha.toffar - 2012-02-01 15:01

      it's true what Lesley said, you can never be sure of what the outcome would be in so many cases police have failed us maybe it could have been even worse. and in some they even took bribes or where a part of the plan from the beginning.

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