Mortimer Saunders is accused of murdering 3-year-old Courtney Pieters. File picture: Noor Slamdien/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - Self-confessed child killer Mortimer Saunders, who is accused of raping and murdering three-year-old Courtney Pieters in May last year, will today hear his fate in  Western Cape High Court. At the time of the child's death, Saunders was a lodger in her family's home. 

Saunders was arrested in May last year after Courtney's was found on a rubbish heap in Bofors Circle, Epping Industria. She had been missing for nine days. He had participated in the search for her and supported her family during vigils held to pray for the child's safe return.

In May this year, Saunders admitted to killing the toddler by poisoning her - allegedly because he harboured ill feelings toward her mother. He  said it was not his intention to kill Courtney and that h e just wanted to make her ill. 

He has admitted to killing Courtney but steadfastly denied that he raped her. Forensic evidence has also failed to conclusively prove that the little girl was raped. Saunders did, however, admit to performing a sex act on the corpse.

Courtney Pieters
In September his defence attorney stunned the court by claiming that Saunders never admitted to killing Courtney, despite his plea explanation being entered into the court record.

Judgment in the case was set down for two days last month but was postponed to this week. Three days have been set aside for the verdict.