Cornelius murder accused allegedly attacked two other women hours later
After Stellenbosch student Hannah Cornelius was raped and murdered in May this year‚ her attackers‚ it has been alleged‚ continued their violent crime orgy with an attack on two other women – barely pausing to dispose of Cornelius’ body.
On Tuesday‚ Vernon Witbooi‚ Geraldo Parsons‚ Nashville Julius and Eben van Niekerk appeared briefly in the Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court‚ where they were told that they are facing ten charges including murder‚ attempted murder‚ kidnapping‚ rape‚ and robbery with aggravated circumstances.
According to the charge sheet seen by TimesLIVE‚ the nightmare started in the early hours of May 27. Cornelius and her friend‚ Cheslin Marsh‚ were parked just off Bird Street in Stellenbosch after a night out.
They were sitting in the blue Citi Golf that Cornelius inherited from her grandmother‚ when they were allegedly approached by the four suspects‚ who threatened them with knives and a screwdriver and robbed them.
They then kidnapped the pair‚ and drove them to an unknown location near Kraaifontein‚ where they attempted to kill Marsh by stoning him with bricks and rocks and stabbing him.
After this‚ they apparently drove Cornelius to a paintball range near Stellenbosch‚ where they raped her.
They then took her to another location‚ where she was murdered. They stabbed her in the neck and dropped a large rock on her head. DNA evidence allegedly linking the suspects to the rape has been recovered.
But the night of terror continued‚ as the men then reportedly used Cornelius’ stolen car to prowl the Kraaifontein area for more victims. They apparently threatened and robbed two women in separate incidents.
Marsh‚ covered in blood‚ managed to survive his ordeal and sought help from residents in Kraaifontein‚ who called the police.
At Cornelius’ funeral in June‚ her close friend‚ Fanelo Arens‚ said: “Hannah was too good for this world. She was one of a kind. There was so much that she needed to teach people.”
The suspects will appear in court again on December 13‚ when they are expected to plead to the ten charges.