Courtney Pieters’ alleged killer back in court as murder trial resumes

He was arrested shortly after the little girl's body was found near her Elsies River home last May.

Mortimer Saunders made a brief appearance in the Western Cape High Court on 14 May 2018. picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN – The trial of alleged child killer Mortimer Saunders is expected to resume in the Western Cape High Court on Monday morning.

Saunders is accused of raping and murdering three-year-old Courtney Pieters.

He was arrested shortly after the little girl's body was found near her Elsies River home last May.

The trial was meant to start earlier this month but the defence requested a postponement for a private pathologist to be appointed to counter the State's evidence.

Advocate Mornay Calitz told the court that there is a dispute with regard to the rape charge that Saunders is facing.

The three-year-old Pieters was last seen alive on 4 May last year. After a nine-day search, her body was found in a shallow grave in Epping Industria.

The little girl's murder is one of several in the Western Cape this year that has authorities and society asking what can be done to protect our children.

With the country marking Child Protection Week, there have been calls for a commission of inquiry led by the provincial government to probe the scourge of child killings.

WATCH: Courtney Pieters: One year on