4th suspect arrested in Hannah Cornelius case

The 21-year-old student was raped and murdered after she and a friend were hijacked during the early hours of Saturday morning.

Hannah Cornelius. Picture: Facebook.com

CAPE TOWN - A fourth man has been arrested in connection with the rape and murder of Stellenbosch University student Hannah Cornelius.

The police's Frederik van Wyk says a 26-year-old man is expected to appear in court on Wednesday.

“We can confirm a fourth suspect, a 26-year-old man from Cloetesville in Stellenbosch, was arrested last night. He is due to make a court appearance tomorrow on a charge of murder.”

The 21-year-old student and a friend were hijacked during the early hours of Saturday morning.

He managed to escape with head wounds.

Two accused, Vernon Witbooi and Geraldo Parsons, appeared in the Stellenbosch Magistrates Court on Monday and a third has yet to appear.

Cornelius’s body was discovered near a farm between the town and Kraaifontein on Saturday morning.

The university’s Martin Viljoen says they are appalled by the senseless murder.

“We wish the injured student well and will do everything in our power to assist the police in their investigation. We have started to provide support to the friends of the deceased student and encourage students to make use of the university’s crisis number.”

At the same time, other Stellenbosch University students say they’re on edge following the incident.

Female students on the campus say they’re particularly affected by the crime.

“My first response when I found out about this was that it could have been one of us.”

Another student says she doesn’t feel safe, adding that her friend was robbed a few days before Cornelius’s death.

The university’s student representative council has called for justice following Cornelius’s murder.

The SRC’s Alchadvon Fransman has called on the community to stand together.

“We basically want justice and we also have to support the family. As students, we believe that this kind of situation shouldn’t occur in a student environment. I think as a community we need to stand together and make sure that we look after each other.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)