#CourtneyPieters: Judge slams Saunders for his 'evil' actions

Convicted murderer and rapist. Picture: Kim Kay/Daily Voice

Convicted murderer and rapist. Picture: Kim Kay/Daily Voice

Published Nov 7, 2018


Cape Town - This case is the most brutal, ruthless, evil and vicious that this court has ever seen. With these words, Judge Babalwa Mantame, found Mortimer Saunders guilty of the rape and murder of Courtney Pieters in the Western Cape High Court a short while ago.

Video: Kim Kay/Daily Voice

There were shouts of jubilation from the packed gallery as judgment was pronounced while the accused stood unmoved.

Saunders, who shared a house with the family in Elsies River was a very good friend of Courtney's father Aaron Pieters.

Her partially decomposed body was found on May 13, 2017 near a dumping site in Epping, nine days after the child disappeared from her home.

Judge Mantame said the State had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt that Saunders planned the rape and murder.

“He bought the ant poison despite nobody who testified and who lived in the same house said there was any problem,” said Mantame in her 82-page judgment.

She did not mince her word when she said Saunders not only lived with the family, was friends with the parents but more importantly, was in a position of trust and abused that trust when he poisoned, raped and killed the little girl.

Picture: Kim Kay/Daily Voice

She described the case as an “abominable” crime.

“The accused had enough time to change his mind, instead he hid her body and helped the community search for her knowing what he did,” said Mantame.

The judge once again reminded the court of the very graphic testimonies the court heard and the pain that the little girl must have suffered when she was poisoned, raped and strangled by Saunders.

Pre-sentencing procedures will commence on December 4.

Weekend Argus

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