Leigh Matthews murder: Father says family 'still in limbo' with 'no answers forthcoming'

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Donovan Moodley in court.
Donovan Moodley in court.
PHOTO: Bongiwe Gumede/Gallo Images
  • Leigh Matthews' family still want answers surrounding her abduction.
  • The family gave their attorney a simple mandate: Donovan Moodley must be kept in jail.
  • The DCS says no decision has been made on whether to grant Moodley parole.


The family of slain university student Leigh Matthews say they still do not have any information from her convicted killer, Donovan Moodley, as to what happened during the period she was missing.

"Rehabilitation, it embraces a number of aspects, and that one aspect [for] us, as a family, that is still missing, is what happened during those 12 days where she was missing and who else was involved?"

Leigh's father, Rob Matthews, said: 

The judge was very clear in [the] judgment that this was not a crime undertaken [only] by Moodley himself, and the place where they found Leigh's body was staged. So, to this day, we are still in limbo. There are no answers that are forthcoming.

Matthews was responding to News24 on what questions they needed Moodley to answer.

Leigh's father was joined by the organisation, Women and Men against Child Abuse (WMACA), in a briefing that addressed Moodley's "looming parole hearing".

Moodley was found guilty of the kidnapping and murder of Leigh, as well as extortion, for demanding a ransom from her father.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, 15 years for kidnapping, and 10 years for the extortion charge in 2005, News24 reported.

READ | Leigh Matthews: No decision yet on parole for Moodley - Correctional services dept

Matthews was joined by Peter van Niekerk, of Eversheds-Sutherlands Attorneys, who said his mandate from the Matthews family was simple: to keep Moodley in jail.

Van Niekerk explained this could be achieved by making representations to both the parole board and, in due course, the minister.

"I think it's important for the public to realise what we're dealing with here and indeed the monster that we are dealing with.

"Moodley was convicted of three serious crimes, not one. Murder was one of them, and he was also convicted of kidnapping and extortion," Van Niekerk explained.

The attorney noted that Moodley's crime was premeditated and carefully planned, and Leigh happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Leigh Matthews

In addition, Van Niekerk explained, in summary, that Moodley deceived Leigh by asking for a ride.

'Not someone who should be released'

She obliged out of the goodness of her heart – and, as soon as he got into the vehicle, he drew a firearm.

"In due course, he transfers her to his own boot and drives her around in his boot for a couple of hours. One cannot imagine the angst, anguish and trauma she must have gone through," he added.

The attorney said this was followed by the Matthews being extorted, and the reward would be their daughter.

Moodley reneged on this reward, and Leigh was shot four times.

He saidL

This is what we're dealing with. This is not someone who should be released from prison.

The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) told News24 on Tuesday that a decision is yet to be taken on whether to grant parole to Moodley, and that it was consulting with all relevant role players.


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