Trial date set for Courtney Pieters murder suspect

Pieters disappeared in May 2017, and her body was found days later, buried in a shallow grave in Epping industrial.

FILE: Murder accused Mortimer Saunders appears in the Goodwood Magistrates Court. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Elsies River community is unhappy with the pace of a case against the man accused of raping and killing three-year-old Courtney Pieters.

A trial date was set in the Western Cape High Court on Friday.

Pieters disappeared in May 2017 and her body was found days later, buried in a shallow grave in Epping industrial.

Mortimer Saunders, who lived with the family, was arrested a day after the gruesome discovery.

Several Elsies River residents filled the public gallery wearing T-shirts with the words “Justice for Courtney”.

Saunders will go on trial on 14 May, the same date he was arrested for the girl’s murder.

But some Elsies River residents are dissatisfied that the matter has been dragging for nearly a year.

“I hope justice takes its course because I don’t think he can live in that area again.”

The group says it wants justice and wants the accused to be punished harshly.