Four men appear in court for murder of Hannah Cornelius
The four men arrested for the rape and murder of Hannah Cornelius appeared briefly in the Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
Vernon Witbooi‚ Geraldo Parsons‚ Nashville Julius and Eben van Niekerk are also facing charges of robbery with aggravated circumstances‚ motor vehicle theft and kidnapping.
But while the latter three men were sent back to Pollsmoor prison pending a DNA report and an identity parade‚ Witbooi was released and told to be back in court on September 28 along with the other accused.
His sister attended the court proceedings and sat next to his girlfriend and family of some of the other accused men.
She said that her brother had been in prison before for housebreaking.
“My mother and I‚ we knew that he broke into houses but he never robbed people or murdered people. It was a shock when we heard that he got caught with those people. We know all of his friends and he never hanged out with those types of people‚” she said.
But she said that Witbooi was part of the 28s gang and that she thought that is how he met Parsons‚ with whom he was arrested on 27 May.
“He was a 28‚ so maybe that’s how they met but we never knew about Geraldo. Now we hear Geraldo‚ he is a dik ding (main man) in the 28s.”
The 21-year-old was raped and murdered in June after she and a friend were hijacked in Stellenbosch.
Her battered body was found on a farm road about 15km from the town.
Her close friend‚ Fanelo Arens‚ said at the time: “Hannah was too good for this world. She was one of a kind. There was so much that she needed to teach people.”
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