Killer blocks prison transfer bid

Convicted killer Donovan Moodley has successfully blocked an attempt by the Department of Correctional Services to move him from the Johannesburg Prison to the Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria. He filed an urgent application with the South Gauteng High Court on Thursday in what he said was an attempt to ensure he could continue his law studies.

While his main request was to remain at the Johannesburg Prison so he could write his exams at the facility in May, he was also concerned that if he was moved he would lose the use of his guitar, which had brought him “unspeakable joy, comfort and solace”.
Killer blocks prison transfer bid
Moodley kidnapped Leigh Matthews at Bond University on July 9, 2004. Her body was found, dumped in Walkerville, south of Joburg, 11 days later. Matthews’s parents had paid him a R50 000 ransom for her release.

Moodley is serving a life sentence for the murder.

On Friday night, an irate Rob Matthews, Leigh’s father, said individuals such as Moodley relinquished their rights when they committed heinous crimes.

“I hope the court treats this application with the contempt it deserves.”

Moodley drafted the urgent, 22-page court application against Minister of Correctional Services Michael Masutha as well as the principal and head of Medium B at the Johannesburg Prison.

He asked to remain at the Johannesburg Prison until he had completed his studies through Unisa. He was in the second year of an LLB.

Moodley, who has diabetes and an eye disorder, also asked to continue being kept in a single cell.

He asked that Unisa, which he listed as a respondent, fulfil its part of the contract it had with him and not end his registration with the exam centre, situated in the same prison.

He and the university had a “valid enforceable contract” for him to write his exams at the Johannesburg Prison, he argued.

But Britta Rottmann, the chief deputy commissioner of the department, told the Saturday Star the plans were to move Moodley and other inmates to Medium C in Johannesburg Prison or to Kgosi Mampuru II. “This is in line with the Unisa hubs that have been created (at both prisons).”

Martin Ramotshela, a spokesman for Unisa, said the university was aware of Moodley’s application. He emphasised that Moodley would not be prejudiced if he was moved.

Moodley also asked the court to ensure the prison authorities did not harass or victimise him.

Department spokesman Ofentse Morwane said Moodley and other inmates would remain at the prison until the department served its opposing papers.

Saturday Star

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