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Courtney Pieters: Community furious, saddened as accused appears

An Elsies River grandmother says it's heart-breaking that the man accused of killing Courtney Pieters is well known in the community.

Elsies River residents picket outside of the Goodwood magistrates court where the man accused of murdering Courtney Pieters appeared. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN.

CAPE TOWN – An Elsies River grandmother says it's heart-breaking that the man accused of killing three-year-old Courtney Pieters is well known in the community.

Mortimer Saunders (40) made his first appearance in a packed courtroom at the Goodwood Magistrates Court earlier on Wednesday.

He is charged with murder, kidnapping and two counts of rape.

Saunders was arrested on Sunday night, a day after Pieters' body was found in Epping.

Family friend Bernadette Lukas was among relatives and community members who protested outside court.

“I’m so devastated because it could have been my grandchild and we feel we want to kill that man. He is known in the community and nobody would have expected this from him.”

The defence requested the man be moved to the hospital section of Goodwood Prison because he fears for his life in the awaiting trial section.

The case has been postponed to next week to ascertain whether or not he can apply for legal aid.

WATCH: Fear and loathing at Goodwood magistrates court as Elsies River murder accused appears

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