Matie student Hannah Cornelius’ friend could suffer permanent damage after brutal hijacking assault

24 July 2017

Cheslin’s was severely assaulted and Hannah murdered and raped in the incident.

Hannah Cornelius’ friend Cheslin Marsh (20), who was with her in the car when they were hijacked in May this year, might lose his hearing in his left ear.

“When I'm talking to my son sometimes he doesn’t hear a word of what I’m saying. If his hearing doesn’t recover we may need to get him a hearing aid and hopefully that will work,” says Marilyn Marsh, Cheslin’s mom.

Hannah and Cheslin were hijacked on the morning of Saturday 27 May in Bird Street, Stellenbosch, while sitting in her blue VW Citi Golf in front of an apartment block.

Cheslin was severely assaulted and Hannah murdered and raped in the incident.

Her body was found shortly after 08.30 am on the farm Groenhof near the Knorhoek road outside Stellenbosch.

The four suspects – Vernon Witbooi, Geraldo Parsons, Nashwill Julies and Eben van Niekerk – will appear in the magistrate’s court in Stellenbosch on 28 July on charges of murder, attempted murder, car theft, robbery with aggravating circumstances, abduction and rape.

Marilyn says Cheslin is battling to get over the traumatic incident. “I don’t know how he’ll feel when he sees the accused’s faces for the first time after that night again. It will be bad for him, I know,” she says.

At the time of the incident, Cheslin was a first-year theology student at the university. He subsequently decided to suspend his studies temporarily and is currently spending time with relatives in Port Elizabeth.

“He wanted to get away from everything here,” Marilyn explains.

“I can see at times it’s tough going for him. One day you can talk about what happened to him and Hannah that night; the next day he’s in another world and gets irritated if you ask him too many questions.”

Apart from the damage to his left ear drum Cheslin also sustained a bad fracture of his left arm.

He’s receiving psychological counselling and physiotherapy, to regain full use of his arm.

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