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Accused in Hannah Cornelius case had previous run-ins with the law

Vernon Witbooi was scheduled to appear in the same court in April but told the magistrate called he failed to do so because he had been kidnapped in Khayelitsha.

Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN – One of the men accused of the rape and murder of Stellenbosch University student Hannah Cornelius has had previous run-ins with the law.

The 21-year-old's body was discovered along Knorhoek Road on Saturday after she and a friend were hijacked during the early hours of that morning.

He managed to escape in Kraaifontein and has been hospitalised with head injuries.

It emerged in court Vernon Witbooi and Geraldo Parsons now also face charges of rape.

Witbooi was scheduled to appear in the same court in April but failed to do so.

On Monday, he told the magistrate he was unable to attend because he was kidnapped and held in Khayelitsha.

Magistrate Greg Jacobs did not buy his claim.

Witbooi will now appear for the missed case, as well as the Hannah Cornelius case alongside his co-accused on 28 July. They will remain in custody in Pollsmoor Prison.

Another suspect is expected to appear in court in connection with the case later this week.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Police Bongani Mkongi has expressed his condolences to the Cornelius family.

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