IDENTIFIED: Mortimer Saunders
Cape Town - Mortimer Saunders, the man accused of raping and murdering Courtney Pieters, 3, will not be taking the stand.

This was confirmed when defence advocate Morne Calitz closed the defence’s case in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday.

Saunders made a brief appearance before the matter was postponed to September 17. Judge Pearl Mantame asked Saunders if he would not be testifying, to which he said “yes”.

The defence called only one witness, forensic pathologist Dr Steve Naidoo, who testified that there was no indication of rape based on his report, which he used post-mortem photographs, affidavits and court transcripts to compile.

Mortimer admits he poisoned Courtney and strangled her to death. He denies raping her, but said he penetrated her with three fingers.

Forensic analysts told the court semen was found in her deep vaginal wall and in the crotch of the jeans she was wearing. However; Naidoo said the accused’s version of digital penetration of the vagina after the death of the deceased was a most plausible version.

Both the defence and State are expected to make heads of argument submissions.

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Cape Argus