By Gill Gifford and Alameen Templeton
When crack detective Piet Byleveld arrested Donovan Moodley for the murder of Leigh Matthews, Moodley said: "I've been expecting you. What took you so long?"
This can be revealed from Byleveld's affidavit supporting the Asset Forfeiture Unit's application on Thursday to seize Moodley's assets.
According to the AFU's case, Moodley expected he would be caught some time before his actual arrest, near his Brackenhurst, Alberton, home.
The exact circumstances surrounding his arrest can now be made public by The Star for the first time.
Moodley this week confessed to kidnapping Leigh, taking R50 000 from her father Rob Matthews as a ransom and then shooting her dead. He has been convicted of the crimes, and pre-sentencing argument is under way in the Johannesburg High Court.
At the time of his arrest, though, Moodley told Byleveld he wanted to co-operate and was taken by Captain Laurens Bezuidenhout to point out various scenes.
Several items were found, including the keys to Leigh's car, her gearlock key, the face of her car radio, the back of her watch, parts of her cellphone and a wire support that fitted her bra. All of these had been scorched.
After this Moodley returned to his home with Byleveld. He sank to his knees, his hands clasped before him as though in prayer, and he told his parents he had murdered Leigh and that he was sorry.
He gave Byleveld his licensed firearm, a 9mm Taurus, and admitted it was the gun with which he had shot Leigh.
"While in his bedroom he handed me a compact disc and a compact disc player. He opened the player and removed a ring, which he handed to me saying: 'Superintendent, this is the ring of Leigh Matthews that was in her pants pocket'," Byleveld stated.
The CD contained several documents. These turned out to be letters to Moodley's parents and his girlfriend, Yeshika Singh.
AFU advocate Camilla Botes succeeded in getting the confiscation order made final on Thursday.
Moodley was given 14 days to pay R50 000 to the state. Should he do so he will have his assets, including the engagement ring he gave Singh, returned to him. If not, they will be sold.
A cheque for R50 000 will then be handed to Leigh's father, Rob Matthews, to cover the ransom he paid for his daughter's release.
Leigh's ring, which Moodley took, has been entered as evidence. Once Moodley has been sentenced, it will be returned to her parents.
Rob Matthews would not comment on how he felt about having the ransom money returned.
As for Byleveld, he experienced quiet satisfaction on Thursday in seeing Moodley and his lawyer squirm.
The sight of Moodley hurrying down the court stairs with his lawyer to consult hastily in the cells gave Byleveld particular satisfaction.
"It just showed to me... well, I felt I had done my homework," the ace investigator said with one of his enigmatic smiles. The incident came during the lunch recess, sparked by a question to him by prosecutor Zaais van Zyl.
"How strong do you think is the state's case against the accused?" Van Zyl had asked Byleveld.
Before he had time to answer, Moodley's advocate, Johan Pretorius, was on his feet protesting about the question's relevance.
Van Zyl was seeking to show that Moodley's last-minute guilty plea, ostensibly to save court time and the Matthews family further pain, was motivated by self-interest and not remorse.
Pretorius immediately called for time out "to speak to my client for a few moments". The few moments ran to 55 minutes as Moodley, according to court orderlies, broke down in tears in the cell as his counsel spelt out some hard facts to him.
After the tea break, Moodley's lawyer presented the court with a statement in which Moodley admitted that the state had "an overwhelmingly strong case against the accused".
He admitted he had not given Leigh, bound and gagged in the back of his car, any food or water for the whole afternoon and evening after he had kidnapped her; that he had lied to the court, even after his plea explanation; and that 32 rounds of ammunition, the same as those used to kill Leigh, were missing.
In return, Van Zyl asked nothing about the state's argument, supported by forensic evidence, that Leigh's body had been refrigerated for several days after her death.
Byleveld just gave one of his grins and said: "It'll all come out."