Leigh Matthews accused pleads guilty

Donovan Moodley pleaded guilty to the murder and kidnapping of student Leigh Matthews at the Johannesburg High Court on Monday.

He also admitted to extortion.

A clean-shaven Moodley was wearing a black suit and a white striped shirt, and at first sat without looking at the packed court behind him.

Appearing composed, he then stood and slowly looked around.

His fiancée, Yeshika Singh, was in the court room, as well as his father, Stephen, and his sister.

The trial has been postponed to Tuesday for argument in mitigation of sentence.

Matthews was snatched from the Sandton campus of Bond University on July 9 last year.
Her kidnapper demanded a R300 000 ransom.

On the same night, her father, Rob Matthews, dropped off R50 000 in an envelope on the N1 highway near the Grasmere tollgate, south of Johannesburg.

Her body was found on July 21 by a grass cutter, metres from a Walkerville road.

Earlier on Monday, Matthews’s parents appeared relaxed ahead of the start of the trial.

Rob and Sharon Matthews chatted to a group of reporters at the court’s coffee shop before the start of the trial.

“We can’t quit now. We have to do this for Leigh,” Sharon said.

She hoped Moodley’s trial would not be postponed.

Leigh’s friends and family wore white ribbons.

Some of Moodley’s family had arrived and, asked to comment on the case, said they would possibly address reporters afterwards.—Sapa

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