Effect Hannah Cornelius's death has had on family is 'beyond devastating'

Hannah Cornelius's father says he believes his family died with Cornelius and was buried when his wife died months later.

FILE: Hannah Cornelius’ killers in the dock for sentencing proceedings. Picture: Lauren Issacs/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The father of slain student Hannah Cornelius has given emotional evidence of how her murder has affected his family.

Sentencing proceeding against four men found guilty in her murder trial have begun in the Western Cape High Court.

The four attacked Cornelius and her friend Cheslin Marsh in Stellenbosch last May.

Vernon Witbooi, Geraldo Parsons and Eben Van Niekerk were on Wednesday found guilty of rape, murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and robbery.

The fourth accused Nashville Julius was convicted on charges of kidnapping and robbery.

Wearing a suit with a white rose pinned to his jacket in memory of his daughter, Cornelius’ father Willem apologised for not attending court proceedings until Thursday.

The grieving father says the investigating officer had taken him through the contents of the docket before the start of the trial and he did not feel up to going through the evidence again.

Willem says the effect his daughter’s death has had on his family is beyond devastating.

He says he believes his family died with Cornelius and was buried when his wife died months later.

The father says while nobody knows what really happened to his wife, he doesn’t believe she took her own life.

But he's told the court his wife didn’t have the physical or mental strength left to counter any difficulties she may have experienced after her daughter's killing.