WATCH: Why did he choose to do that to my child, asks #CourtneyPieters’s dad

Published Dec 5, 2018


Cape Town - Aaron Fourie, the father of raped and murdered Elsies River girl Courtney Pieters, still struggles to talk about his daughter’s death and cannot show emotion.

He spoke outside the Western Cape High Court where sentencing proceedings in the tragic case started.

Mortimer Saunders has been found guilty of the rape and murder of Courtney, who went missing on May 4 last year.

She was found dead a few days later, dumped in Epping Industria.

Fourie said he and Saunders grew up together and were friends.

“I am relieved but very hurt by everything that has happened.

“I still feel very much angry towards him. I would really like to know why. Why did he choose to do that to Courtney when there were always other children playing around?

“Why did he choose to do that to my child?” asked Fourie.

The grieving father said he wanted two life imprisonment sentences imposed on his former friend.

In aggravation of sentence, social worker Evelyn Torodie said Fourie was in need of counselling but was not ready to accept the help.

“He doesn’t want to talk about it. It’s heartsore. He feels people don’t need to know how he feels and the trauma he goes through daily.

“He said everyday he came to court for trial he wished the accused would look at him. He said as he was friends with the accused he thought by looking him in the eye it would give an explanation of where it went wrong,” Torodie said.

She told the court Courtney’s siblings were also affected by her death.

“Her brother is a survivor who believes something happened in his family, but still continues (with life).

“Her sister feels responsible for what happened to Courtney,” Torodi said.

Courtney’s mother Juanita Pieters wrote a victim impact statement where she said she missed her daughter.

Probation officer Jeremy Kessie recommended Saunders get an extended period of direct imprisonment.

“The re-offending risk is not that high but when it comes to people who are weak and vulnerable to people, like the deceased, the risk is high,” he said.

“He doesn’t accept full responsibility. He said there was no intent to administer poison to a little girl but the accused should’ve foreseen her death.

“There was also an opportunity to help her when she cried for help but he didn’t. He went further by muffling and choking her,” Kessie said.

Sentencing will be carried out on December 11.


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Cape Argus

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