The 21-year-old BA student was raped and murdered following a hijacking on Stellenbosch’s main road last Saturday. A male friend, Cheslin Marsh, who was with Cornelius during the ordeal, was badly assaulted but managed to escape from their assailants. Cornelius was cremated on Thursday.
Friday’s memorial was attended by friends, family members, fellow students, and Stellenbosch University Rector Wim de Villiers. Members of the media were not allowed inside the church during the proceedings.
After the service, mourners gathered on the steps of the church and along the side of the road as close to 100 bikers, with white ribbons and balloons adorning their motorbikes, did a drive-by in tribute to the young woman.
Cornelius’s parents were overcome with emotion following the tribute, with her father saluting the bikers with a peace sign as they drove past the church. High school friend Caryn Voortman described Cornelius as “a ray of sunshine who brightened every single day she was alive. She was the purest soul on the planet”.