WATCH: Courtney’s casket carried out after mourners are asked to pray for family of murder accused
TMG Digital | 2017-05-20 10:55:43.0
Courtney Pieters’ body was carried out of a Cape Town hall on Saturday after a funeral attended by hundreds of people.
The murdered three-year-old was to be buried in her white casket at Modderdam Cemetery in Belhar.
Courtney’s family‚ including mother Juanita Pieters‚ father Aaron Adonis and brother Adrian‚ were dressed in white‚ black and pink for the funeral at Adriaanse Community Centre in Clarke’s Estate‚ Elsies River.
The little girl was found in a shallow grave next to an unused railway line in Epping a week ago. She had been missing for nine days‚ and police believe that for most of that time her body was in the room of a tenant who lived in her family’s home.
Mortimer Saunders‚ 40‚ appeared in Goodwood Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday charged with murder‚ rape and kidnapping.
Standing on the Pieters family’s doorstep after visiting the family on Thursday‚ President Jacob Zuma said: “That a man who stays here can rape the child‚ kill the child in the bedroom … and break every bone to make the child fit in a plastic bag … It shows something has gone wrong with society.”
#CourtneyPieters A short piece on Courtney’s casket arriving at her funeral service which has seen hundreds of people attend. @TimesLIVE pic.twitter.com/ceA4QoQ2hQ
— Anthony Molyneaux (@AJGMolyneaux) May 20, 2017
Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato was at Saturday’s funeral‚ where he asked the community to pray for Saunders’ family. “The violence against women and children is everyone’s issue‚” he told mourners.
Plato’s plea was echoed by Pieters family spokeswoman Roegchanda Pascoe‚ who said the community must extend the same warmth and prayer to the Saunders family as to Courtney’s.
Earlier on Saturday‚ hundreds of people joined a “Your child is my child” march for peace in memory of Courtney that began at Elsies River High School. On Friday a similar gathering was held at the place where Courtney’s body was found.