First he poisoned her, and when she was dead, he raped three-year-old Courtney Pieters’ body. Then he broke all the bones in her little frame, put her in a plastic bag and went to dump her body on a field.
And he did all this because he “didn’t like” the child.
This is according to a source close to Mortimer Saunders, who says the alleged child rapist and killer confessed his crimes to police, and confided in him over the weekend.
The 40-year-old suspect is being kept in the hospital wing of Goodwood Prison. The source adds that Saunders revealed he made a full admission to cops on the day of his arrest on May 14.
“He also believes he will get a light sentence because she was dead before he raped her,” adds the confidante.
Courtney disappeared from her home in Pluto Street, Elsies River, on 4 May, and was found nine days later, buried in a shallow grave at Bofors Circle, Epping Industria, near her home.
Saunders, who boarded with the family, helped searched for the little girl. But the childhood friend of Courtney’s father, Aaron Fourie, was nabbed a day after her body was found.
Friends and family of Saunders were shocked, including his father, a pastor of the Old Apostolic Church in Elsies River.
Saunders, who worked as a team leader at an international call centre at the V&A Waterfront, was described as a “soft-spoken, shy guy who would not hurt a fly”.
But the Daily Voice source says this was a disguise.
The insider says Saunders was comfortable revealing details of Courtney’s death because he believes he’s done nothing wrong.
“He says he fed her Fusion cooldrink laced with ant poison,” says the source. “He doesn’t think he did anything wrong, he claims he couldn’t have [raped] her because she was too far gone from the poison.
“It was all over by 10am on the [day] she went missing. He fetched a blanket from another bedroom, wrapped her up, put her in a bag and went to dump her.”
It is believed the killer broke the child’s bones to make her fit into a shopping bag.
That much was confirmed by President Jacob Zuma, when visiting the family at their home a few weeks ago, when he told the media: “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.”
It appears Courtney’s body was also not kept in Saunders’ bedroom, after it had been suspected that it had been, due to the “smell of death” that came from his fridge, now believed to have come from old meat.
The source adds: “The question on everyone’s lips, though, is why? Why would anyone kill an innocent three-year old child?
“Well, according to him, he didn’t like Courtney. He said this with a straight face. He was disappointed that he was caught, but he does not appear to be sorry at all.
“He said he would tell the truth in court.”
Prosecutor Adnaan Gelderbloem said DNA tests, forensic reports and witness statements should be ready when Saunders appears next in the Goodwood Magistrate’s Court on 27 August