Cape Town – The man accused of the rape and murder of three-year-old Courtney Pieters from Elsies River made his first appearance in the Goodwood District Court on Wednesday, and the Elsies River community was there baying for his blood.
They would have to wait their turn, though, as the suspect had apparently been assaulted by fellow awaiting trial prisoners in the court holding cells.
Attorney Colin Lekay, fearing for his client’s safety, requested that Mortimer Saunders be transferred to the hospital section of Goodwood Prison.
Magistrate Paul Visagie said the request would be considered at the accused’s next appearance.
Saunders, 40, was charged with the murder of his landlord’s child, and two counts of rape, indicating that it was both vaginal and anal.
When Saunders made his way into the packed courtrooom, he looked confused.
His faded red shirt was wrinkled and he barely looked up.
About 600 people had marched and taken taxis to court on Wednesday morning.