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Accused in murder of Stellenbosch student Hannah Cornelius back in court

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Four men accused of the murder, kidnapping and rape of a Stellenbosch University student, and the attempted murder of another, are expected to appear in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday.

Vernon Witbooi, Eben van Niekerk, Nashwill Julies, and Geraldo Parsons face charges in connection with the attack on Hannah Cornelius and her close friend Cheslin Marsh in May, last year.

Cornelius’ body was found on the morning of May 27, 2017 on the side of a road, near a wine farm outside Stellenbosch.

She was last seen alive hours earlier, with Marsh, when four men approached her car in Bird Street, Stellenbosch.

Her Citi Golf is believed to have been used in an armed robbery in Northpine, between Brackenfell and Kraaifontein, on the day of her murder, and is also understood to have been used in Kuils River.

The court previously heard that plea and sentencing negotiations with Witbooi had fallen through.

Cornelius’ father is retired Simon’s Town magistrate Willem Cornelius.

Her mother, Anna Cornelius, 56, was found dead in March along the shores of Scarborough, less than a year after Hannah’s murder.

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