Judge reads judgment in Mortimer Saunders murder trial

Saunders was arrested after the body of three-year-old Courtney Pieters was found in Epping Industria in May 2017.

Mortimer Saunders was found guilty of murdering three-year-old Courtney Pieters in 2017. Picture: Lauren Isaacs/EWN

CAPE TOWN - High Court Judge Babalwa Mantame has reached the halfway mark in reading out judgment in the trial of child killer Mortimer Saunders.

The court has set aside three days to deliver the verdict.

Saunders was arrested after the body of three-year-old Courtney Pieters was found in Epping Industria in May 2017.

Young Pieters's body was found nine days after she was reported missing from her home in Elsies River.

Mantame has reached page 41 of her 82-page judgment.

She started by reading out Saunders’ submissions that were first heard in court at the start of his trial.

The Elsies River man has admitted to poisoning, choking and smothering Pieters because she was annoying him and to get back at the child’s mother with whom he didn’t get along.

Mantame then delivered an overview of testimonies by the little girl’s mother, Juanita Pieters, a cousin, a member of a search party who found the child’s body, a toxicologist and a State pathologist.

The matter has now been adjourned until after lunch.

Elsies River residents and relatives of the murdered child have packed the public gallery and say they’re anxiously waiting for the final verdict later this week.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)