Cape Town - Mortimer Saunders, who is accused of killing and raping 3-year-old Courtney Pieters, appeared calm as he made his way into the dock at the Western Cape High Court for judgment in the case which sparked outrage with parents across the Cape Flats. 

Saunders is set to learn his fate today.

He was arrested in May last year after Courtney's was found on a rubbish heap in Bofors Circle, Epping Industria. 

Courtney had been missing for nine days. Saunders, a lodger in her family's home, had participated in the search for her and supported her family during vigils held to pray for the child's safe return.

The gallery in Court 2 was packed as family members and community leaders eagerly awaited the judgement set to be handed down by Judge Babalwa Mantame.

Saunders pleaded guilty on a charge of murder but not guilty on a charge of pre-meditated murder, and not guilty on a charge of rape.

He also pleaded guilty to performing a sexual act on a corpse. 

Judge Babalwa Mantame read Saunders' plea explanation as he stared blankly ahead. 

Judge Mantame's lengthy judgment and sentencing is set for three days this week.

Daily Voice and IOL