'Hannah Cornelius's rapists, killers were merciless'

Calling for harsh sentences, advocate Lenro Badenhorst says the community at large needs to be protected from the convicted killers.

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

CAPE TOWN - The prosecution against the men who raped and murdered Stellenbosch student Hannah Cornelius has argued they were merciless and showed no respect for human rights.

The 21-year-old woman and her friend, Cheslin Marsh, were hijacked in Stellenbosch during the early hours of the morning in May last year.

She was raped and stabbed to death after the young man was assaulted and left for dead.

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

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

Advocate Lenro Badenhorst has wrapped up the argument in aggravation of sentence.

Calling for harsh sentences, he says the community at large needs to be protected from the convicted killers, especially Witbooi and Parsons who called the shots during the attack.

He says Parsons, who is linked to the 28s-prison gang, has several tattoos on his body that indicate what kind of person he is.

The killer's tattoos include his gang rank, a firearm, the phrase "hungry for money, thirsty for blood", another phrase "f the police" and a drawing of a naked woman with her legs spread apart and her head that of a baboon.

Badenhorst argues this shows Parsons has no respect for women and sees females as animals there for sexual pleasure.

Judge Rosheni Allie will hand down her sentence on Monday.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)