'Where is Aunty Leigh and how did she die?' Leigh Matthews' 6-year-old niece asks

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Donovan Moodley
Donovan Moodley
PHOTO: Gallo Images/Foto24/Bongiwe Gumede
  • The family of Leigh Matthews was on Friday expected to motivate against the release of Donovan Moodley.
  • Moodley was given a life sentence for the murder of Matthews, but is being considered for parole after serving 15 years.
  • Matthews' mother says she is worried that Moodley will hurt her or her family should he be released.


The Johannesburg Prison was a hive of activity on Friday morning as the family of Leigh Matthews got ready to present oral representations as a part of the parole process of their loved one's killer, Donovan Moodley.

Rob and Sharon Matthews and their daughter Karen Hiddens were expected to motivate against Moodley's release.

Moodley was found guilty of kidnapping and murdering the 21-year-old student, and of extortion for demanding a ransom from her father.

Leigh Matthews
Leigh Matthews

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

Matthews' death made headlines when she was abducted in July 2004 from Bond University in Sandton, and to date, her family says that there are still unanswered questions about the tragedy.

READ | Leigh Matthews: Fear and shock as Donovan Moodley's parole process begins to unfold

In the written representations under the theme of the impact of the crime on the victim's family, it is revealed that Leigh's sister described how her six-year-old daughter had asked her: "Where is Aunty Leigh and how did she die?"

"How am I supposed to tell her that she was kidnapped murdered and that we only found her body 12 days later. In a country where gender-based violence has reached an all-time high, how am I supposed to 'rationalise' [a] response to my little girls?" writes Matthews' sister in the report.

In addition, the representations – seen by News24 – include a doctor's report which states that Hidden's mental and marital state would be "detrimentally affected by the knowledge that the perpetrator of her sister's murder be released from prison and deleteriously impact health parameters in the various areas of her life".

The report also notes that Matthews' mother Sharon is worried that Moodley will hurt her, or her family, should he be released.

Sharon wrote:

He at face value, he comes across as a likable individual. That facade, however, hides an individual that is capable of murder and carrying out his threat.

She further questions what protection will be made available to her and her family if Moodley is released.

"How do I know if he has been or even capable of rehabilitation? It was only in 2018 that he was still changing his story on the murder," she wrote.

The parole process is currently under way.


We want to hear your views on the news. Subscribe to News24 to be part of the conversation in the comments section of this article.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
15.77
+0.7%
Rand - Pound
19.69
+0.5%
Rand - Euro
16.65
+0.5%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.10
+0.6%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.5%
Gold
1,846.66
0.0%
Silver
21.76
0.0%
Palladium
1,970.00
0.0%
Platinum
958.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
112.55
+0.5%
Top 40
61,000
-1.2%
All Share
67,575
-1.0%
Resource 10
72,529
+1.6%
Industrial 25
72,948
-3.9%
Financial 15
15,746
+0.1%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE