Student, 21, kidnapped, raped and murdered by South Africa gang who crushed her skull with rock
A student was kidnapped, gang-raped and murdered in South Africa after four men armed with knives stormed her car, a court has heard.
Hannah Cornelius, 21, had pulled up outside the flat of fellow student Cheslin Marsh, 22, at midnight when the attackers rushed towards her car, the judge was told.
Hannah Cornelius was abducted before her body was found the next day
One of the gang is said to have held a screwdriver to her chest through the open window while another put a knife to the back of Mr Marsh.
The Western Cape High Court in Cape Town heard one of the gang shouted at him: "Sit still or she dies."
Mr Marsh was robbed of cash and his phone and locked in the car boot, the court was told.
The suspects then allegedly drove to a drug dealer's home to buy drugs and smoked crystal meth.
Hannah's badly battered body was found in a vineyard
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The accused: Vernon Witbooi, 33, Geraldo Parsons, 27, Nashville Julius, 29, and Eben Van Nieberk, 28
Magistrates' daughter Hannah was wedged between two of the four men in the back seat of the VW Golf which her grandmother had given to her as a birthday present, the court heard.
They then drove out of the upmarket wine producing town of Stellenbosch near Cape Town and hauled Mr Marsh into the bushes, the judge was told.
Three men allegedly made him lay his head on a rock on the ground and battered his skull with bricks until they thought he was dead.
When Marsh woke up, suffering severe head injuries and a broken arm, he staggered to a nearby home to raise the alarm about Hannah.
Unknown to him her body had been found earlier several miles away dumped by the roadside and a huge police search was already underway for him and the gang.
Hannah had been dragged into bushes at a vineyard and gang-raped by three of the suspects, it is alleged.
Her skull was the crushed with a large rock and she was stabbed in the neck, the court heard.
She was described as a “brilliant student” and the daughter of magistrate Willem Cornelius and lawyer wife Anna, 56, who tragically drowned 10 months after her murder.
Hannah was a straight-A student and was in her second year at Stellenbosch University, studying for a BA in Humanities.
Vernon Witbooi, 33, Geraldo Parsons, 27, Nashville Julius, 29, and Eben Van Nieberk, 28, face a string of charges including murder, kidnap, robbery and rape.
Distraught fellow student Cheslin broke down in tears repeatedly as he told of his ordeal.
Hannah was attacked while dropping her friend off after a night out
He said they had been out for a few drinks and to a dance.
Cheslin said he was going to use his skateboard to get home but Hannah insisted on driving him in case he was robbed.
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He said: “I lay down on the ground as they told me and put my head on a rock.
“I closed my eyes and I prayed. The two men were standing over me with bricks in their hands.
“I lost consciousness and when I woke I was in horrible pain, everywhere pain. When I last heard Hannah talking her voice was very soft and I could tell she was scared.”
Mr Marsh was so traumatised he never returned to his studies.
He is now deaf in one ear as a result of his injuries and vivid scars could be seen on his head as he gave evidence.
One of the men accused of the murder of Hannah had his confession - made the day after his arrest - read to the court.
He said the gang went into town “to see what they could get”.
Witbooi alleged the other three took Mr Marsh out of the boot while he had a “smoke”.
He said they told him they had tied him up and left him to be found.
He said he was “only after money” and denied any part in Hannah's rape and murder.
Witbooi said three others returned from the bushes after raping Hannah and said: “While we were driving Parsons said I had missed out on having had sex with her.
“He said they had tied the girl up and that the workers would find her tomorrow.”
The gang, then high on drugs, allegedly went on a robbery spree in the hijacked car robbing at least three women before the stolen motor was spotted and a high speed police chase began.
Three were arrested after dumping the car and fleeing and the fourth was arrested later.
Cheslin pictured after his horrific ordeal
Culled from The Sun
My view: This is heartbreaking, these evil men are not human beings, it seems they hate people who are doing better than them, It was hate and rape crime, I don't think the evil monsters have fathers, they belonged to satan and they deserve the death penalty. I wonder why they are not calling for the death penalty, so where is the outrage against these evil men like in pastor Omotosho's case. These devils have no fathers, wicked souls.they belonged to satan and deserved to die