Grim details emerge in Stellenbosch student's murder

2017-05-31 12:43
Hannah Cornelius. (Netwerk24)

Hannah Cornelius. (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – The Maties student whose body was found on a farm outside Stellenbosch on Saturday morning apparently bled to death there.

On Tuesday the grass where the body of Hannah Cornelius, 21, was found was still flattened, dry blood bearing silent witness to her last hours, Netwerk24 reported.

According to a source, she wasn’t raped there. After hijacking Cornelius and her friend Cheslin Marsh in Stellenbosch, Cornelius’ suspected rapists and killers allegedly drove to Kraaifontein in her blue Citi Golf, with both victims in the vehicle.

There they apparently turned off onto a dirt road next to a sewage farm. It is on this road, among bushes and stones, where they allegedly took Marsh from the car boot.

He was assaulted and left for dead.

A barefoot and bloodied Marsh managed to reach homes near where he had been assaulted at about 07.30.

He climbed over a nearly 2m-high concrete wall and knocked at the door of a house. The homeowners’ dog had got hold of him by his trousers.

Covered in blood, barefoot

Margaret Fortuin told on Tuesday how shocked she and her husband, Avril, had been when they heard a knock on their back door at about 07:35 on Saturday morning.

According to her, Marsh was covered in blood and barefoot.

He was wearing a rugby jersey and jeans, which were also full of blood.

Fortuin said Marsh told them that he had been assaulted. She has no idea how he got over their wall.

"By coincidence, a police vehicle came cruising down the road and my husband flagged them down. We told them about the young student and they said they knew about students being hijacked in Stellenbosch."

She said Marsh then left with them.

Meanwhile, the men who’d hijacked the two students had driven with Cornelius to a wooded area behind Reapers Paintball in Bottelary Road. There they are suspected of having taken turns raping her.

The men, apparently with Cornelius still in the car, had gone back to Stellenbosch, where she was murdered on the Groenhof farm. Netwerk24 reported on Tuesday that Cornelius had been stabbed about four times with a sharp object.

Three of the stab wounds were in her neck. It’s believed that she bled to death.

Four arrests

Two of Cornelius’ suspected rapists and killers – Vernon Witbooi, 32, and Geraldo Parsons, 26 – were arrested on Saturday at about 14:00 on the farm Dwars-in-die-weg in Devon Valley, after a high-speed chase by detectives of the Stellenbosch police.

They apparently had been trying to hide there.

They appeared in the Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court on Monday, charged with murder, rape, car theft, robbery with aggravating circumstances and abduction.

The case was postponed to July 28 for further investigation.

A third man, Nashwill Julies, 26, was arrested on Sunday.

He appeared in court in Stellenbosch on Tuesday charged with murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and abduction.

The case was also postponed to July 28 for further investigation.

A fourth man, who was arrested in connection with the case on Monday evening, is set to appear in the Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

Read more on:    hannah cornelius  |  cape town  |  crime  |  rape

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