Matie murder: Friend jumped over wall to safety

2017-05-28 19:36
Matie student Hannah Cornelius. (Netwerk24)

Matie student Hannah Cornelius. (Netwerk24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town -  "If I hadn’t jumped over the wall, I would have been dead," a bloodied Matie student who’d been hijacked with his friend in Stellenbosch, told a couple when he’d asked for help.  

The friend, Hannah Cornelius, 21, a second year BA student,  was found murdered next to the Knorhoek Road outside Stellenbosch on Saturday morning. It’s suspected that she was stabbed with a sharp object before being strangled, an informed source told Netwerk24

Cornelius and the male student, who hasn’t been named yet, had been chatting in a blue Golf in front of a block of flats in Bird Street, Stellenbosch, on Saturday morning, when they were hijacked. The incident happened between 03:00 and 06:00.

Averal Fortuin and his wife Margaret, of Bernardino Heights, Kraaifontein heard an urgent knock on their back door at about 08:00. “He [the male student] stood there. He was barefoot and covered in blood,” Fortuin said on Sunday.

The young man with curly brown hair was wearing jeans and a rugby jersey and said: “I want to tell my story.” Fortuin was on his way to let him in because the dog had cornered the young man when the police drove past.

He and his wife flagged down the police for help.

Fortuin said the man was “completely disorientated and didn’t know where he was”. They didn’t speak to him after the police had arrived on the scene, and didn’t know his name.

The police “found a lot of stuff in the veld behind the house and took photographs”, Fortuin said.

According to a source, four men had approached Cornelius and her friend. A man armed with a screwdriver opened the passenger door behind the driver and forced Cornelius onto the back seat. Another three men joined him and Cornelius’ friend was locked in the boot.  

The students were robbed of all their belongings. At one stage, the hijackers drove to Kraaifontein, where they assaulted Cornelius’ friend with bricks, the source said.   

It’s suspected that the hijackers had stabbed Cornelius several times and then strangled her somewhere along the Knorhoek Road. Her body was found along the road at about 08:30, the police confirmed on Sunday morning.

Arrested after chase

Two of the suspected killers were arrested at about 11:00 on Saturday morning after a high-speed chase by police near the Dwars-in-die-weg farm in Devon Valley, Stellenbosch. According to reports, they had been involved in a robbery near Northpine, in which they had used the hijacked car.

Elsha Henderson, the primaria of the Irene Residence, where Cornelius had been staying, said law enforcement officials on Saturday asked friends at the res to describe what she’d been wearing.

“We are shattered... She was one of those people who always had a smile for everyone,” Henderson said.  

Cornelius is from Scarborough, near Simon’s Town.

She is the daughter Willem Cornelius, Simon’s Town chief magistrate. His wife, Anna, is a well-known lawyer in Cape circles.  

Andries Cornelius, Hannah’s uncle, said in a statement that the family didn’t have all the details about her death yet. The family thanked everyone for their support and said it was a testimonial to the “wonderful, loving and beautiful person Hannah was”.

University of Stellenbosch Rector Professor Wim de Villiers said: “Our campus community is shocked by this senseless death and our hearts go out to the family and friends of the student who lost her life, as well as the student who was injured.”

The police confirmed on Saturday that two men had been arrested. Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said they were provisionally facing charges of murder, attempted murder and hijacking.

Rwexana said the men, both in their 30s, would appear in the Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court on Monday.  

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
ADVERTORIAL
Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

/News
 

Men.24 Model of the Week: Wendy from Cape Town

Find out more about our featured model, Wendy from Cape Town

 
 

You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.