After 12 days of witness testimony‚ including the gut-wrenching and emotional account of Hannah’s friend from Stellenbosch University‚ Cheslin Marsh‚ state prosecutor advocate Lenro Badenhorst drew out Parsons’ confession as though he was performing an exorcism.
“Let’s not play these silly games here Mr Parsons‚” he said. “You went to town that night in order to cause trouble. Your intention was to rob people. Am I right?”
“That’s correct‚” said Parsons‚ who had previously claimed he went into Stellenbosch from his Cloetesville home to withdraw money from an ATM.
During his testimony‚ Parsons tried to deflect all the blame for what happened to Marsh and Cornelius‚ and attempted to convince Judge Rosheni Allie that Cornelius had given permission for himself‚ Vernon Witbooi and Van Niekerk to have sex with her.
“All the people who came here to testify and give evidence against you‚ why did you put them through all of this? Why didn’t you plead guilty from the beginning?” said Badenhorst.
Parsons replied: “On that moment I didn’t want to plead guilty because the court didn’t find me guilty yet. I was afraid that the other accused were going to pin everything on me.”
Badenhorst pointed to a dynamic which he said trumped societal norms‚ in terms of Parsons’ world view. He is a member of the 28s prison gang and has admitted holding the rank of “sergeant”.
He denied Badenhorst’s assertion that he was in fact a general and “called the shots” in prison among his fellow accused.
“You are the only one who talks‚ am I right?” said Badenhorst.”
“That’s not so‚” said Parsons.