Leigh Matthews’ killer is granted a second chance at parole

After 17 years in prison for the murder of 21-year-old student Leigh Matthews, Donovan Moodley has been granted a second chance to appear in front of the parole board.
Seventeen years after Donovan Moodley was sentenced to life for the kidnapping and murder of Leigh Matthews, as well as for the extortion of Leigh’s family, he is appealing the decision made at his first parole hearing.
Judge Stuart Wilson ruled in the Gauteng High Court on Friday, 16 December, that Moodley would be granted another opportunity to present to the parole board by 31 March 2023 as his previous parole hearing had not been handled correctly.
“Mr Moodley’s minimum detention period, after which he became eligible to be considered for release on parole, expired on 3 June 2018,” the recent judgment reads.
Read more in Daily Maverick: “Advice to a monster”
‘Unlawful administrative action’
Wilson said the manner in which Moodley’s first parole hearing had been dealt with “constitutes unlawful administrative action”.
Moodley’s request for parole was denied on 18 February 2022 as the board had instead “recommended that the issue of Mr Moodley’s eligibility for parole be referred for further examination by a psychologist and a social worker”, the judgment reads.
The parole board recommended that Moodley be subject to “further profile” — which meant Moodley needed to be examined by social workers and psychologists to address his “abnormal love of money” and what the board characterised as “his insensitivity to gender-based violence”, explained the judgment.
During his time in prison, Moodley had done “more than was required” to present that he had rehabilitated himself, said Stephan May, amicus curiae (friend of the court) on this matter. He had obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree and a Master of Laws degree while in prison, according to the judgment.
“The Parole Board’s contrary view does not appear to be based on the Case Management Committee’s report, or on the material on which that report was based, or on any other evidence discernible from the record,” Wilson said.
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Leigh Matthews was a university student at Bond University in Sandton, Gauteng, when she was abducted in the university parking lot on 9 July 2004.
She was held captive by Moodley, who demanded ransom from her parents, Rob and Sharon Matthews.
Despite receiving the ransom from her family, Moodley killed Leigh. Her body was discovered in Walkerville, south of Johannesburg, on 21 July 2004.
Moodley was sentenced ...
17 Dec 2022 1PM English South Africa News · Daily News

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