Three men found guilty of Hannah Cornelius’ rape and murder

The four men who abducted 21-year-old Hannah Cornelius in Stellenbosch last year were found guilty on all charges against them on Wednesday afternoon.

Vernon Witbooi, Geraldo Parsons and Eben van Niekerk were ruled to have kidnapped, robbed, raped and murdered Cornelius in May 2017 after finding her in her Citi Gold in the hours of the morning with a friend, Cheslin Marsh.

The group was also found guilty in the Western Cape High Court of attempted murder on Marsh, who was left for dead after being badly assaulted with a brick.

The fourth accused, Nashville Julius, was found guilty only of the robbery and kidnapping, as he left the group before the remaining men proceeded to a bush and took turns to rape her. They eventually killed her on a farm by stabbing her twice in the neck and dropping a heavy rock on her head and body.

A fifth suspect, known only as “Kaffertjie” is believed to have participated in the rape and murder but was not arrested.

The men will face sentencing later.

Parsons garnered the most media attention of the four after being the only accused who admitted to guilt on all charges while in the witness box, despite having pleaded not guilty. The others chose not to testify.

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