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Rohde, Pieters, Cornelius convictions victory in addressing GBV, says NGO

A local NGO says successful convictions in three femicide cases this week involving the murder of two women and a child have been a victory in efforts to address gender violence.

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

CAPE TOWN - A local NGO says successful convictions in three femicide cases this week involving the murder of two women and a child have been a victory in efforts to address gender violence.

The Western Cape High Court found Jason Rohde guilty of strangling his wife, Susan Rohde, at a hotel in Stellenbosch in 2016.

The same court also convicted Mortimer Saunders of the rape and premeditated murder of three-year-old Courtney Pieters in Elsies River last May.

Three men were also found guilty of the rape and murder of 21-year-old Stellenbosch student Hannah Cornelius.

“Many times, it has taken a long time to get cases like these to court and to get successful convictions. It just shows us that there is a dedication from police officers, aside from the prosecuting side, to get these people behind bars," says Matla A Bana's Monique Strydom.

She adds it's disturbing how violently Pieters, Cornelius and Rodhe died.

“We’re just very alarmed and appalled at the level of violence involved and that vulnerable people like women have been targeted.”

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