Three of the four men accused of the kidnapping, rape and murder of Hannah Cornelius have been found guilty and the matter will continue tomorrow in the Western Cape High Court.
In May of 2017, Vernon Witbooi, Geraldo Parsons, Eben Van Niekerk, and Nashville Julius all took part in the kidnapping, rape and murder of Stellenbosch student Hannah Cornelius. They were also accused of kidnapping Hannah’s close friend Cheslin Marsh on the same night.
The two were returning home and Cornelius insisted on dropping Marsh at home because of fear of him getting robbed if he walked home. The two were parked in Cornelius’s car and then a horrific turn of events took place that evening.
They were kidnapped and driven around by the four accused and were even taken to a “tik house”. Cheslin was released although they attempted to murder him. Unfortunately, however, Cornelius was raped and then murdered with a horrendous murder weapon.
Hannah’s body was found near a farm in Stellenbosch, face down and with her pants lowered. Cheslin was left for dead in bushes in Kraafontein.
The Western Cape High Court judge Rosheni Allie said that the state had found Vernon Witbooi, Eben Van Niekerk and Geraldo Parsons guilty of all ten charges, including the attempted murder of Marsh. They were convicted with four “robbery with aggravating circumstances” charges. Nashville Julius, however, was not accused of the rape and murder of Hannah Cornelius but was convicted of two charges of kidnapping, as well as two charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances. It was determined that Julius left the crime scene after he failed to get Hannah’s car keys.
The court gallery was packed with members of the public and the matter will continue tomorrow.
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