The ‘men’ who murdered Hannah Cornelius and assaulted Cheslin Marsh don’t seem all that repentant.
During the trial, they often laughed and joked amongst themselves, as the extent of their horrific crimes were laid bare.
Thankfully, they have been found guilty, and now we wait to see just how long their prison terms will be.
I would say that any hope of rehabilitating these ‘men’ into functioning members of society is long gone, and yesterday the Cape Town High Court heard why they should spend significant time behind bars.
Geraldo Parsons, one of the men convicted of killing University of Stellenbosch student Hannah Cornelius, has a baboon shaped like a woman’s body etched on his back, legs wide open. He also has a 28s gang symbol on his chest, and another tattoo that reads: “F***k the police.”
Then there are two other, perhaps even creepier, tattoos. One reads: “Hungry for money,” and another: “Hungry for blood.”
On Thursday, in aggravation of sentence, prosecutor Lenro Badenhorst said Parsons’s tattoos summed up his worldview.
“[Parsons’] gang association is evident,” said Badenhorst. “This is what [he] stands for when it comes to police. [He] has no respect for women. A woman is an object to satisfy their sexual pleasure.”
Parsons, Vernon Witbooi and Eben van Niekerk were found guilty of robbing, kidnapping, raping and killing Cornelius, as well as the attempted murder of Marsh, and of robbing and kidnapping Miemie October and Ncumisa Qwina.
Nashville Julius was convicted of robbery and kidnapping Marsh and Cornelius.
The day’s most gut-wrenching moment came when Willem Cornelius testified about what his daughter’s murder had done to his family.
Saying that “my family died when Hannah died”, he somehow managed to keep his composure, but his words still hit home:
Judge Rosheni Allie will sentence the men on Monday. We can only hope she shows no mercy.
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