Picture: Kim Kay/Daily Voice

Cape Town - Court proceedings for self-confessed child killer Mortimer Saunders' judgment at the Western Cape High Court have been moved from Court 2 to Court 15. The new venue is a lot smaller and will not allow all the family members, community leaders and media present to be seated.

The accused stared blankly as Judge Babalwa Mantame read his plea explanation.

After reading 29 pages of her 82-page judgment, Judge Mantame adjourned the court for tea.

This was the first time many in the gallery got to see Saunders in such close proximity. The accused sat within arms reach of Courtney's friends, family and community leaders. 

Saunders was arrested in May last year after Courtney Pieters's body 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.

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. 

Judgment continues.

Daily Voice and IOL