Trial date set in Courtney Pieters murder case

Mortimer Saunders will go on trial from 5 February until 1 March 2018

Mortimer Saunders seen in the Goodwood Magistrates Court on Friday, 6 October 2017. Picture: Lauren Isaacs/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The case against the man accused of the rape and murder of three-year-old Courtney Pieters in Elsies River has been transferred to the Western Cape High Court.

Mortimer Saunders was in the Goodwood Magistrates Court on Friday morning.

The little girl's body was found in a shallow grave in Epping in May, days after she was reported missing.

Loud cheers came from a packed public gallery as the court heard the investigation is complete and Saunders will stand trial in the High Court next year.

A trial date has been set for 5 February until 1 March 2018 while the pre-trial conference will take place on 24 November 2016.

The 40-year-old accused will now be transferred to Pollsmoor Prison.

Little Courtney's older sister cried as relatives and community members hugged her.

Saunders, wearing a red jacket and jeans, showed no emotion as insults were hurled at him from the dock.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)