Two men will appear in the Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court on Monday charged with the hijacking and murder of Stellenbosch University student Hannah Cornelius, 21, and the attempted murder of her male friend.

Hannah and her friend were hijacked on Friday in Bird Street, Stellenbosch, and her body was found on Saturday morning in Knorhoek Road, near a farm in Stellenbosch. 

After she was killed, the hijackers drove away with her friend. He was taken to Kraaifontein, where he was beaten and left for dead. He was admitted to hospital with serious injuries. Police recovered the blue Citi Golf that was hijacked.

Hannah is the daughter of the chief magistrate of Simon’s Town, Willem Cornelius. She was a second-year humanities student at the University of Stellenbosch (US). On Sunday her family was too distraught to talk to the media.

US spokesperson Martin Viljoen said the incident was tragic. US rector and vice-chancellor Professor Wim de Villiers said that the campus community “is appalled and shocked by this senseless act and our hearts go out to the family and friends of the student who has lost her life, and to the injured student.

“We are very relieved to hear that the police have arrested two suspects in connection with the hijacking. The perpetrators should be met with the full extent of the law. Our thoughts are with the victims of this horrific crime.”

Her uncle, Andries Cornelius, said: “It was with great shock and sadness that we learnt of the tragic death of our beloved Hannah Cornelius. The family does not have all the facts surrounding her death as yet. 

"They’ve been advised to await the full report from the authorities. The amount of support the family has been receiving is testimony to what an amazing, loving and beautiful person our Hannah was. The family has requested that their privacy be respected at this very difficult time.”

In another incident last week, two women were victims of an attempted hijacking in Brooklyn.  Sapho Sajini, from Milnerton, said she and a friend were dropping off friends, when two men approached them. 

“They came up to the front of the car. They had guns and asked me to open the door. I pushed the central locking. One guy cocked his gun and my friend screamed: ‘Drive!’ We then sped off,” she said.

Cape Argus