“It is my belief that our family died with Hannah, and was buried when my wife walked into the ocean a short time later and did not come back.” Picture: Zodidi/Cape Argus
Cape Town - “It is my belief that our family died with Hannah, and was buried when my wife walked into the ocean a short time later and did not come back,” these are the words of bereaved father, Willem Cornelius.

Willem was testifying in aggravation of a harsher sentence for, his daughter Hannah Cornelius’s, killers, Vernon Witbooi, Geraldo Parsons,  Eben Van Niekerk and co-convict, Nashville Julius.

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.

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.
 
Willem Cornelius, Hannah's Cornelius's father, getting support after testifying for aggravation of a harsher sentence. Video: Zodidi Dano/Cape Argus
Speaking for the first time and making his first appearance since the trial started, Willem who is also an advocate, said after seeing the docket for the case he did not have courage to attend court proceedings.

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Cape Argus