Murdered student remembered at res memorial service

2017-06-01 12:27
Matie student Hannah Cornelius. (Netwerk24)

Matie student Hannah Cornelius. (Netwerk24)

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Stellenbosch - She was the flower child with the red shoes.

This is how Hannah Cournelius, 21, was described during a memorial service at Stellenbosch University’s Irene residence on Wednesday evening, Netwerk24 reported

"It will never be the same again,” read one of the message. 

"We were 321 [residents in Irene] because you we here. You are Irene. I am Irene. Irene is all of us. Without you, I don’t know."

Students looked straight ahead as the messages were read.

At the start of the memorial service, a black-and-white ribbon was handed out to students and staff.

An Irene resident said it personified what the students had experienced in the past week.

The white represents peace, humility, purity, innocence and youthfulness. The black represents sadness, heartache and mourning.

"It’s something you can wear to class as a small reminder of Hannah."

After the memorial service, seeds were planted in a garden just outside Irene's dining room.

"She was a real flower child," said Riana Engelbrecht, the residence head.

"She made the same impression as flowers in a home. She was sunny, warm and charming."

In September, the flowers would remind them of Hannah. It is a sign that she will always be with us, Engelbrecht said.

plant garden
Seeds are planted in a garden outside Irene residence's dining room at Stellenbosch University in commemorating the death of Hannah Cornelius. (Denique Smith, Netwerk24)

Tears flowed when the seeds were planted.

A peaceful march was planned for Thursday morning to the spot in Bird Street where Hannah and a friend, Cheslin Marsch, were hijacked on Saturday morning. Hannah was later murdered and her body found at Knorhoek, just outside Stellenbosch. Marsch was badly assaulted and is recovering in hospital.  

Eben van Niekerk, 27, appeared briefly in the Stellenbosch Magistrate's Court on Wednesday on charges of murder, rape, attempted murder, car theft, robbery with aggravating circumstances and abduction.

The case was postponed to June 20, when he will apply for bail. He was remanded.

The other accused in the case are Vernon Witbooi, 32, Geraldo Parsons, 26, and Nashwill Julies, 28. Their cases have been postponed to July 28 for further investigation.

Read more on:    hannah cornelius  |  cape town  |  crime

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