Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius shot and killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp (left), a decade after the death of Bond University student Leigh Matthews.
Images via Twitter

Leigh Matthews’s dad on Oscar Pistorius parole: ‘System is broken’

‘The tail wagging the dog’: Leigh Matthews’s dad has shared his ordeal with Reeva Steenkamp’s parents amid Oscar Pistorius’s parole process.

Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius shot and killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp (left), a decade after the death of Bond University student Leigh Matthews.
Images via Twitter

The father of Leigh Matthews – the young student who was kidnapped and murdered in 2004 – has shared his experience with the family of Reeva Steenkamp amid their daughter’s killer Oscar Pistorius becoming eligible for parole.

The father of the Bond University student shared his views on part one of M-Net docu-series My Name Is Reeva this week.

In the first episode on Thursday night, the distraught dad recounts his own experience earlier this year after Leigh’s murderer Donovan Moodley became eligible for parole.

Reeva was shot and killed at her Paralympian boyfriend’s Pretoria home on 14 February 2014. A decade earlier in 2004, the naked body of Leigh Matthews was found after being kidnapped and murdered.

ALSO READ: Reeva had ‘premonition’ before Oscar Pistorius murder: ‘She knew she was going to die’


Speaking on camera, Leigh Matthews’s dad Bob revealed that he had reached out to Reeva Steenkamp’s parents June and Barry. This, amid news Oscar Pistorius has become eligible for parole after serving half his murder sentence.

In June, Oscar met with Reeva’s dad Barry Steenkamp as part of the Correctional Service’s Victim Offender Dialogue. The meeting is part of the department’s “restorative justice process” between the offender and the victim’s family.

June rejected the opportunity to face her daughter’s killer.

Similarly, the parents of Leigh Matthews are also contending with their daughter’s killer’s parole process. In January, the family of the 21-year-old student contested Donovan Moodley’s parole.

Bob said: “For us, it was incredibly traumatic and I thought that maybe as parents we could reach out to each other and share some of our experiences. Because it’s very lonely out there.

“I think the parole system is broken because there is not enough investment put into this process. So it’s almost the tail wagging the dog. This process can make or break you.

ALSO READ: ‘I don’t want to see him’: Reeva’s mom refused Oscar Pistorius parole meet

Of the parent’s involvement in the parole process, Leigh’s dad claimed: “What you’re doing is for your loved that that is no longer with you.

“That day is a flood of memories that come through. But you have to remember what you’re doing, to make sure the perpetrator of the crime doesn’t get an early release based on something that they are not deserving of.

“You have to put your story forward in a convincing way to the parole board so that they have a full understanding of the hurt that you as a family are going through”.


After a much publicised trial, Oscar Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide in December 2015. He was handed a six-year prison sentence. However, his charge was changed to murder, and his jail term increased to 13 years following an unsuccessful appeal in November 2017.

The 35-year-old is now eligible for parole after serving half his sentence.

Like Oscar, Donovan Moodley also had a media frenzy surrounding his murder trial. In 2005, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, 15 years for kidnapping and 10 years for extortion. Moodley’s sentence runs concurrently.

In 2021, 17 years after Leigh’s murder, IOL reported that Donovan Moodley was up for a parole hearing.

ALSO READ: ‘My Name Is Reeva’: M-Net’s haunting doccie about Oscar Pistorius’s girlfriend [trailer]

In January 2022, the family of Leigh Matthews hotly contested the process as part of their mediation. Ultimately, Moodley was denied parole.

Speaking to media gathered outside the Johannesburg Correctional Facility, Rob Matthews said: “The truth of the matter is 17 years later, Moodley has not changed. He is still the same lying, conniving, deceitful individual”.

Rob claimed that there were still several unanswered questions surrounding his daughter’s kidnapping and death. He added that Moodley had shown “no remorse” amid five unsuccessful appeals to his sentence. 

In the second instalment of the My Name Is Reeva, which will be aired on Thursday 1 September, we can expect to hear what transpired in the meeting between Reeva’s father and Oscar Pistorius.