Convicted murderer and child rapist Mortimer Saunders has written an apology to his victim’s family, his family, and the community. Picture: Noor Slamdien African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - Convicted killer Mortimer Saunders is set to be sentenced on Tuesday for the rape and premeditated murder of Courtney Pieters.

He was found guilty of killing three-year-old Courtney in November. He was arrested shortly after Pieters’ decomposing body was found in Epping Industria in May 2017, nine days after she was reported missing.

In an earlier testimony, social development department probation officer Jeremy Kessie told the High Court in Cape Town that he was aware that Saunders was possibly facing two life terms of direct imprisonment.

Asked by State prosecutor Esmeralda Cecil whether he was aware that the minimum sentence of murder and rape of children under the ages of 16 was two separate life terms, Kassie said: “Yes I am aware.”

In his report, Kassie said that he was concerned about Saunders’ high risk of harm to the public.

“Yes, the accused constitutes a high risk to the public, more to the weak and vulnerable. Specifically to the children. The risk of harm to the public is high,” said Kassie.

Cecil asked Kassie whether, according to his view, the murder was premeditated and whether the accused showed any signs of remorse or of accepting responsibility, to which Kassie told the court that the accused was not accepting full responsibility for his actions. 

Saunders has also written a letter of apology to Courtney Pieters and her family,  wherein he speaks about the pain he caused the Pieters family and his own.

“I deeply regret what I’ve done and I’m truly ashamed for my actions on that day. I will have to live with the fact that I’m responsible for a child’s death,” said the letter written in capital letters.

IOL