Judge Rosheni Allie on Monday handed three men life sentences for the kidnapping, rape and murder of Stellenbosch University student Hannah Cornelius and the brutal attack on her friend Cheslin Marsh.
1. "The State correctly submitted that the accused can't be allowed to patrol the streets in search of opportunities to perpetrate violence and brutal crimes, as they did in this case. Indeed, society deserves protection from them."
2. "[Vernon Witbooi] was able to complete Grade 12 and clearly has the cognitive ability to understand the nature and consequences of his actions and the far-reaching implications that it has on his victims. His educational achievement [of a teaching qualification] is not a mitigating factor but at aggravating factor because he ought to know better."
3. "[Geraldo Parsons] displayed a callous disregard for the liberty and life of his victims. He treated them as mere pawns at his disposal to do with as he pleased in his quest to violently take what didn't belong to him and to dump [Cheslin] Marsh and later the deceased in the boot as though they were not human."
4. "[Eben van Niekerk] conducted himself in a cunning manner by ensuring that no DNA of his was found at Reaper's Paintball Club and by burning his clothes containing the blood of the deceased after he inflicted deep and fatal stab wounds to her neck."
5. "[Nashville Julius] must be punished for the offences that he committed and not rewarded for the offences that he didn't commit. His disassociation was acknowledged when he was not charged [for the consequent robberies and rape and murder of Cornelius]. That disassociation does not however translate into mitigation for the offences of which he was convicted."
6. "The act of rape was addressed by the State as the accused seeking to achieve sexual pleasure for themselves. It is a misconception to describe the objective of rape in that manner. Rape is an act of exercising power over a victim in a violent, brutal and humiliating manner."
7. "The rapes of the deceased were designed to bring the deceased to complete subjugation by wielding power over her and humiliating her in the process. It is a violation of her privacy, dignity and humanity."
8. "It is the relevant accused's decision to prey upon the vulnerability of the deceased as a woman that makes the rape the crudest and cruelest form of violence."
9. "The way in which the most fatal blunt force blows were inflicted, namely by hurling a large stone or rock against her head repeatedly is not only violence but also vengeful and filled with vicious intent to cause certain death instantly."
10. "[Parsons], when testifying about the rape expressed no true remorse but cried because he felt he betrayed his girlfriend. [Witbooi] cried during the confession recorded by the police when he described how he was apprehended by the police, clearly feeling sorry for himself, but he expressed no regret when he described the commission of the offences. Accused 1 and 2 therefore cried because of the predicament they now find themselves in."
11. "In answer to a question by the State concerning why he deemed it necessary to rob when he had employment, [Parsons] said that is the way life works. That is a reflection of his mindset and his view of the role he played. It is a sub-humane attitude borne out of depravity."