Courtney Pieters murder: NPA to seek two life sentences for Mortimer Saunders

2018-11-07 17:44
Mortimer Saunders. (Jenni Evans, News24)

Mortimer Saunders. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has said it will seek two life sentences for Mortimer Saunders who was found guilty of raping and murdering Courtney Pieters, 3, on Wednesday.

Courtney's decomposing body was found in Epping industrial area near her home in May 2017.

Western Cape High Court Judge Babalwa Pearl Mantame on Wednesday found Saunders guilty of feeding the toddler ant poison before raping and killing her.

READ: 'Vicious, brutal, inhumane' - court's damning verdict

"We are pleased with the outcome of this case. We will ask for a prescribed minimum sentence for each of the charges which is life imprisonment for each – the murder and the rape," NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said.

"We want to thank and appreciate the efforts of prosecutor Esmeralda Cecil who ensured that she would do whatever possible to prove that the accused raped the child while she was still alive, as well as premeditated murder."

Ntabazalila also thanked State pathologist Professor Johan Dempers and the DNA experts for their evidence, as well as members of the Elsies River community who came out in their numbers to support the State's case.

Courtney's supporters celebrated on the steps of the court and one resident had a warning for parents in the community.

"It won't stop here," Elsies River resident Menicia Botha said.

"We're going further. We are going for each child, irrespective who they are. To those parents, I want to tell you now – if we see a child walking alone, we are coming for you. To those parents who lay drunk, we are coming for you."

Pre-sentencing proceedings will begin on December 4.

Read more on:    courtney pieters  |  cape town  |  crime

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