The Johannesburg high court issued a directive on Wednesday, instructing Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola to assemble an entirely new parole board for the reconsideration of murderer Donovan Moodley’s latest parole hearing.
SowetanLIVE reports that this decision comes after Moodley sought the court’s intervention, challenging the fairness of the previous two parole hearings and requesting the nullification of the decisions denying him parole. Moodley, convicted for the 2004 kidnapping and murder of Bond University student Leigh Matthews, had extorted a ransom before committing the heinous act.
Despite being sentenced to life in prison, Moodley has persistently pursued parole, leveraging a 2019 legal change that rendered him eligible. In response to his latest application, Judge Stuart Wilson emphasised that, as Moodley serves a life sentence, any consideration of parole must be justified, rejecting the argument of unjustifiable delay.
Wilson referred to the incompetence displayed in the previous parole hearings, both set aside for procedural failures and mistreatment by the board. The court’s decision to order a third parole hearing has stirred mixed emotions, with Rob Matthews, Leigh’s father, acknowledging the stress on the family but recognising the importance of victims having a voice in the process.
Picture: X / Mark10049312
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