Hannah Cornelius Picture: Facebook
Cape Town - Before being stabbed and stoned to death, Stellenbosch student Hannah Cornelius agreed to being gang raped, as long as she wasn't hurt, said Geraldo Parsons, one of the four accused being tried in the Western Cape High Court for her murder.

Parsons said: “Vernon had condoms. He said Hannah said we can have sex with her and thereafter let her go. She said we mustn’t hurt her. I saw it in her eyes, she was scared. I knew she wasn’t saying it cause she wanted to,” Parsons told the court.

He and his co-accused - Vernon Witbooi, Eben Van Niekerk and Nashville Julius - are on trial for murder, attempted murder, rape, kidnapping and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Geraldo Parsons, one of the four accused being tried in the Western Cape High Court for Hannah Cornelius's murder. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency/ANA

Parsons told the court that he was involved in the hijacking and kidnapping of Cornelius and her friend, Cheslin Marsh, at the corner of Jan Celliers Rd and Bird Street, Stellenbosch, on May 27, 2017.

Before Cornelius’s murder, the accused had stopped near Kraaifontein and assaulted and stoned Marsh, where they left him to die. Marsh survived, despite sustaining serious head injuries.

Parsons told the court that when he and his friends gang raped Cornelius, he went first, but it felt wrong.

“I have a girlfriend and children, too; it wasn’t right,” he sobbed.

Parsons said that once Witbooi and Van Niekerk had finished, they shoved Cornelius in the boot of her Citi Golf and drove off: “We drove to Koelenhof farm in Stellenbosch. Vernon directed me. I wanted to get Hannah out and leave with the car, but I couldn’t."

Parsons said that when they arrived at the farm, they tried to get Cornelius out of the boot, but she resisted.

“She was panicking. Eben came to assist. I stabbed her and blood spattered. I quickly let go of her. Vernon came with a stone. She was in a standing position. He kicked her in her stomach and she fell to the ground and threw ... a stone [at her]."

Parsons told the court he tried to stop Witbooi from killing Cornelius.

The four accused in the Hannah Cornelius murder case: Vernon Witbooi, Geraldo Parsons, Eben van Niekerk and Nashville Julies. Picture: Noor Slamdien/African News Agency/ANA

He told the court although he had initially pleaded not guilty to the 10 charges he faced, he changed his plea as he feared his co-accused would paint him as the “mastermind”.

“My intention was to just rob and hijack the car,” he said.

The trial will resume on Monday.

Cape Argus