#CourtneyPieters's mother thought she would find her alive

The mother of the girl who was abducted, raped and murdered in May 2017 says it is still difficult to talk about the experience.

 Juanita Pieters hold up a flyer with her daughter, Courtney Pieters picture on it. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN.

CAPE TOWN – With the trial of Mortimer Saunders, who was arrested after Courtney Pieters body was found, set down to begin the Western Cape High Court on 14 May the mother of three-year-old's says she always believed her daughter would be found alive.

The girl's disappearance on 4 May 2017 drew neighbouring community members as well as high profile delegates to her family home in Pluto Road.

Remembering Courtney Pieters, one year on

It’s been a year since the rape and murder of three-year-old Courtney Pieters shook the nation. In the wake of the murder, a number of promises were made to the community of Elsies River. EWN returns to find out whether they were fulfilled.

Juanita Pieters was leaving for work the last time she saw her daughter alive.

"It's not easy to talk about it; that's why I tell people I don't want to talk about it. It's still too painful."

On her return from work, she found out her daughter was missing.

A large-scale search operation had already begun with police, family members and the community joining forces to look for Courtney.

Juanita had faith that her little girl would be found alive.

"I strongly believed I would get my child back alive. A lot of people were searching for her on heaps and under stuff. I got upset because I told them I'm not looking for a dead child. I looking for my child alive."

It would be ten days before the family would find any sort of closure, and it came in the most devastating way imaginable – Courtney's tiny battered body was found dumped in a nearby industrial area.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)