Three male rapists found guilty of kidnapping brilliant South African college student and her friend in her own car before gang-raping her and crushing her skull with a rock, even as she pled for her life
Stellenbosch University students Hannah Cornelius, 21, and Cheslin Marsh, 22, were carjacked outside Marsh’s apt block in May 2017
Cornelius was gang raped by three men before she was brutally murdered
Geraldo Parsons, 27, said student pleaded with them to let her go after rape
Three men – Geraldo Parsons, 27, Vernon Witbooi, 33, and Eben van Niekerk, 28, have been found guilty of murder, rape, kidnap and robbery in the tragic carjacking of the two college students in Cape Town, South Africa in May 2017
Vernon Witbooi, one of the men convicted for rape and murder, was seen giving a thumbs up leaving South African court
The fourth accused man, Nashville Julius, 29, was found guilty of kidnapping and robbing Cornelius and Marsh
Sentencing proceedings is scheduled to begin on Thursday
Verdict: Vernon Witbooi, [left], Geraldo Parsons, Eben van Niekerk, [second right], have been found guilty of murder, rape, kidnap and robbery in the tragic carjacking of two college students in Cape Town, South Africa in May 2017. Nashville Julius, [right], was found guilty of kidnapping and robbing Cornelius and Marsh
Three men have been found guilty of kidnapping, gang-raping and murdering a university student in South Africa last year.
Hannah Cornelius, 21, was carjacked by four men while dropping off fellow student Cheslin Marsh, 22, at his home in Stellenbosch, west of Cape Town, after a night out in May 2017.
The hoodlums men robbed and assaulted Marsh and left him for dead, before brutally raping Cornelius, stabbing her in the neck and crushing her skull with a rock.
Geraldo Parsons, 27, Vernon Witbooi, 33, and Eben van Niekerk, 28, have today been found guilty of the rape and murder, as well as the kidnap, robbery and attempted murder of Marsh.
Witbooi, whom the judge revealed has a violent criminal record going back 19 years, was later filmed giving a camera a ‘thumbs up’ as he left Western Cape Court.
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Victim: College sophomore, Hannah Cornelius, 21, was raped and murdered in Stellenbosch, South Africa, after she and her friend were carjacked by the four men on trial in May, 2017
Video footage from the court posted on social media by Times Live hears Parsons and Witbooi being asked in Afrikaans if they are sorry, to which Parsons responds that he is.
A fourth man, Nashville Julius, 29, was found guilty of kidnapping and robbing Cornelius and Marsh, News 24 reports.
Parsons had previously told the court during the trial that the quartet had only intended on stealing the victim’s’ car and that the incident spiralled after they saw the two students still inside.
He said the desperate student had bargained with them, agreeing to let the men sexually assault her – as long as they let her live.
However, several of the men brutally raped her, after which they threw her into the trunk of her own car, and drove her to a secluded spot where they murdered her.
CCTV footage released during the trial shows how the incident began in the early hours of May 27, 2017.
In the footage the four men are seen surroundeing the victim’s VW Citi Golf, parked outside the apartment block where Cheslin Marsh lived.
Related: Four men on trial in the carjacking and savage murder of brilliant student – Hannah Cornelius was gang raped and beaten to death with a rock after stopping to give a friend a ride home to stop thugs stealing his skateboard
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Marsh recovered consciousness the following day, and staggered to a nearby home suffering severe head injuries and a broken arm to raise the alarm about his friend.
Unknown to him her body had been found just hours earlier, dumped by the roadside. After the rape and murder of Ms Cornelius, the gang went on a crime spree in the hijacked car, robbing at least three women before the stolen car was spotted and a high speed police chase began.
Three of the suspects were arrested after dumping the car and fleeing on foot. The fourth man was arrested hours later. Sentencing proceedings resume on Thursday.