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

Donovan Moodley (Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Bongiwe Gumede)
Donovan Moodley (Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Bongiwe Gumede)
  • The DCS says no parole decision has been taken regarding Donovan Moodley.
  • Moodley is serving life imprisonment for the murder of Leigh Matthews.
  • WMACA and the Matthews family briefed the media on Tuesday morning.

The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) says a decision is yet to be taken whether to grant parole to Donovan Moodley.

Moodley is the man convicted of killing university student, Leigh Matthews, almost two decades ago.

The department said it is consulting with all relevant roleplayers.

"Parole is not a right, and related decisions are in line with relevant legislation. Once all necessary requirements have been complied with, and due process completed, the minister of justice and correctional services will make a decision on whether or not to grant parole to the said inmate," department spokesperson, Logan Maistry, told News24 on Tuesday.

The DCS further explained that the process of preparing profile reports of inmates, who may be considered for parole, is initiated by a case management committee (CMC) "approximately six months before offenders reach the minimum detention period and/or further profile dates".

"Offenders serving sentences of life imprisonment, due for consideration for possible placement on parole, are considered by the CMCs and Correctional Supervision and Parole Boards (CSPBs).

"Thereafter, profile reports are forwarded to the regional offices for quality assurance process and referred to the Directorate Pre-Release Resettlement if they have passed this process, and accordingly forwarded to the National Council for Correctional Services (NCCS) and the Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services," Maistry said.

The DCS's response to News24 comes after the Matthews family, supported by Women and Men against Child Abuse (WMACA), held a briefing on Tuesday morning.

The briefing in Johannesburg was held ahead of a "looming parole hearing" for Moodley.

The advocacy group is calling for the parole process, as a whole, to be transparent and victim-centric. 

It added that it was opposed to Moodley's release as he was an "unlikely candidate".

The organisation cited, among several arguments, Moodley's lack of full disclosure, his failure to take full responsibility for the crime, and his failure to present an alternative version of what could have happened.

We are not debating that convicted persons have rights, particularly based on South African's past of wrongfully incarcerating people. However, as with any right that is afforded any group, that needs to be balanced against the right of any potentially opposing group.

"In this case, it is a murdered child of the Matthews family," said Luke Lamprecht, the anti-abuse group's head of advocacy.

Rob Matthews, Leigh's father, called on "the conscience of the nation to help us in the fight for justice and those without a voice".

"Justice does not end when a sentence is handed out; justice is when victims feel there is accountability for their hurt," said Matthews.

READ: Leigh Matthews killer blocks prison transfer

Moodley was found guilty of kidnapping and murdering 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.

The death of 21-year-old Leigh made headlines when she was abducted in July 2004 from Bond University in Sandton.

Moodley held her for several hours before taking R50 000 ransom money from her father, after which he shot her.

He was sentenced to life in prison by Judge Joop Labuschagne in August 2005.

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