Donovan Moodley in latest bid for parole pleads for ‘ubuntu’

Convicted murderer Donovan Moodley during his trial. Picture: File

Convicted murderer Donovan Moodley during his trial. Picture: File

Published Apr 24, 2023


Pretoria - The killer of Bond University student Leigh Matthews, Donovan Moodley, has once again turned to the Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg in a bid to be released on parole.

In papers filed with the court, Moodley said he was a “lay litigant” when it came to the law and called on the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola, the Department of Correctional Services and the parole board to show him “ubuntu”.

Moodley said in a short affidavit attached to his application that he was a lay person when it came to the law, and he needed assistance regarding his legal bid.

“They (the minister and the other respondents) are pleaded (sic) to show ubuntu to me and only oppose (the) facts and not legal technicalities,” Moodley said.

Aggrieved by the fact that at the end of March the parole board did not recommend him to be released, Moodley is now asking the court to review and set aside that finding.

“I am aggrieved by the decision as I believe the decision does not comply with the peremptory provisions of just administrative action,” he said in his affidavit filed with the court.

Moodley is asking that the parole board’s recommendations be substituted “by a recommendation/decision made by this court.”

He called on Correctional Services and the parole board to make all documents on which it based its decision not to grant him parole available to him within 15 days.

This includes his entire parole file (the applicant’s entire parole file), the parole board’s recommendations and the full reasons for the recommendations not to grant him parole.

Moodley said that he needed those documents to assist him in his bid to have the refusal of his parole overturned.

Once armed with these documents, he may supplement his application.

This is Moodley’s fifth legal bid regarding his parole.

He told the parole board earlier during his failed hearing that he was studying law in jail in order to obtain justice for himself.

“I make this application as a layman and would appreciate the assistance of the court in this matter.” He also said that as a “lay litigant”, he should not be held to the same standard of accuracy as lawyers.

“This Honourable Court is pleaded with to exercise its inherent jurisdiction and come to my aid should the need arise. I humbly submit that this would be in the interest of justice and the public,” Moodley said in his affidavit.

He added: “ The applicant (himself) begs and pleads with the respondents (the minister and his departments) to file the record (relating to the decision not to grant him parole) within 15 days of this application. This plea is made because they took more than 60 days in the last review.”

Moodley has, in the past, not shied away from turning to the court himself in his bid to obtain parole.

Shortly before his last parole hearing in March, he failed in his bid for the court to postpone the hearing. In that application, he said the Department of Justice and Correctional Services did not supply him with the documentation it aimed at using during his parole hearing, and he feared that he would be ambushed during the hearing.

Judge Stuart Wilson, at the time, ordered the parole board to hold a new hearing for Moodley by no later than March 31. It was also ordered that all reports and other documentation necessary for the parole hearing be completed by February 28.

Moodley, at the time, said he never received these documents. But the court said it believed that Moodley would receive a fair parole hearing and that the department was probably using the existing documents which were already in Moodley’s possession.

In turning down the latest parole bid, which was held at the Johannesburg prison where he is serving a life imprisonment term, it was found that he was not yet ready for the world outside the prison walls.

He was also denied parole in January last year.

Moodley pleaded guilty in 2005 to murder, kidnapping and extortion after Matthews was shot dead in 2004.

Her father, Rob Matthews and his wife, Sharon, opposed him being released on parole. They believe that Moodley is not frank about what exactly happened to their daughter, and they feel he has not shown remorse for his deeds.

Pretoria News