Vernon Witbooi, Geraldo Parsons, Eben van Niekerk and Nashville Julius are accused of the kidnapping and rape of Hannah Cornelius. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - Three of the four men on trial for the murder of Stellenbosch student Hannah Cornelius have been found guilty of her rape and murder. 

Western Cape High Court Judge Rosheni Allie said the State had proven beyond reasonable doubt that Vernon Witbooi, Geraldo Parsons and Eben Van Niekerk were guilty of all the ten charges they faced, including the attempted murder of Cornelius's friend Cheslin Marsh, the kidnapping of both Marsh and Cornelius as well as that of Mimi October. 

They were also convicted of four charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Video: Zodidi Dano/Cape Argus

The fourth accused, Nashville Julius was convicted of two charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances and two charges of kidnapping.

He had left the crime scene, Jan Cillier Street, after failing to get the car keys from Cornelius. 

Cheslin Marsh outside the Western Cape High Court. Picture: Zodidi Dano/Cape Argus

All the crimes were committed within a 11 hour period. 

Cornelius, 21, and Marsh were hijacked while in her blue Citi Golf parked at the corner of Jan Cillier and Bird Streets, in Stellenbosch, on May 27 last year. 

The two were kidnapped, and Cornelius was found dead a few hours later in Knorhoek Road, close to a wine farm in Stellenbosch. Her body was found face down with her pants lowered. 

Hannah Cornelius Picture: Facebook

Marsh was assaulted and left for dead in bushes in Kraaifontein. The assault left him completely deaf in the left ear and he is still attending medical examinations for his head injuries. 

In court the gallery was unusually packed with members of the public. In the gallery was a group wearing t-shirts bearing Cornelius's photo. 

The matter continues tomorrow.


[email protected]

Cape Argus