Thousands of people turned out for the funeral of three-year-old Courtney Pieters who was murdered recently. PHOTO: Tamaryn Africa/ANA
Thousands of people turned out for the funeral of three-year-old Courtney Pieters who was murdered recently. PHOTO: Tamaryn Africa/ANA
Thousands of people turned out for the funeral of three-year-old Courtney Pieters who was murdered recently. PHOTO: Tamaryn Africa/ANA
Thousands of people turned out for the funeral of three-year-old Courtney Pieters who was murdered recently. PHOTO: Tamaryn Africa/ANA
Thousands of people turned out for the funeral of three-year-old Courtney Pieters who was murdered recently. Courtney had a closed casket and funeralgoers instead held photos of the little girl. PHOTO: Tamaryn Africa/ANA
Thousands of people turned out for the funeral of three-year-old Courtney Pieters who was murdered recently. Courtney had a closed casket and funeralgoers instead held photos of the little girl. PHOTO: Tamaryn Africa/ANA
Thousands of people turned out for the funeral of three-year-old Courtney Pieters who was murdered recently. PHOTO: Tamaryn Africa/ANA
Thousands of people turned out for the funeral of three-year-old Courtney Pieters who was murdered recently. PHOTO: Tamaryn Africa/ANA
Cape Town – The funeral of murdered three-year-old Courtney Pieters got underway in Elsies River on Saturday morning, with a ride past by a local motorcycle club, a brass band, as well as a cadet regiment.

Family members gathered in the Pluto Street home when Courtney’s body arrived for the funeral procession. The hearse was accompanied by a motorcycle escort and a brass band.

From there, the funeral procession made its way to the Adriaanse Community Hall where hundreds of people had crammed in for the funeral service.

A officer of the Apostolic church opened by saying: “We all know today is about a little girl that crawled into our hearts in two weeks.”

Hundreds of residents had earlier also taken part in a peace march from the nearby Elsies River High School.

Motorcycle riders formed part of the funeral procession for little Courtney Pieters. VIDEO: Tamaryn Africa/ANA

The rape and murder of the little shocked South Africa, with President Jacob Zuma, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula and Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato all taking turns to visit the family this past week.

Zuma had also gone to visit the site in nearby Epping where Courtney’s body was discovered last Saturday, nine days after she had gone missing.

A 40-year-old man who lived with the Pieters family appeared in the Goodwood Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, facing charges of rape and murder related to the death of Courtney.

Thousands of people turned out for the funeral of three-year-old Courtney Pieters who was murdered recently. VIDEO: Tamaryn Africa/ANA

In a statement issued earlier this week, Zuma had expressed his shock and repulsion at the killing of Courtney and other cases around the country where woman and children had been violently targeted.

Thousands of people turned out for the funeral of three-year-old Courtney Pieters who was murdered recently. VIDEO: Tamaryn Africa/ANA

“Our prayers and thoughts are with the families during this difficult period. The incidents have caused untold pain amongst South Africans and this is the time for us to unite and isolate these cruel perpetrators of this shameful and hateful crime against women and children,” Zuma said at the time.

Courtney was due to be buried at the Modderdam Road cemetery in Belhar.