Court­ney’s killer writes let­ter of apol­ogy to fam­ily

Saturday Star - - METRO - NOR­MAN CLOETE

that Ma­trix Ve­hi­cle Track­ing and Mar­shall Se­cu­rity found the ve­hi­cle in Kwa­mashu C-sec­tion.

SAPS spokesper­son Lieu­tenant-colonel Thu­lani Zwane con­firmed the de­tails of the hi­jack­ing yesterday and said that Ru­bi­lar’s ve­hi­cle had been found in Kwa­mashu.

“The sus­pects drove away with her and later she was dropped off along the road in Newlands East.

“The sus­pects are still at large. Charges of car-jack­ing and kid­nap­ping will be opened at Berea Po­lice Sta­tion for in­ves­ti­ga­tion.” CON­VICTED mur­derer and child rapist Mor­timer Saun­ders has writ­ten a let­ter of apol­ogy to Court­ney Pi­eters and “ev­ery­body”.

Week­end Ar­gus (Satur­day Star’s sis­ter pa­per) is in possession of the neatly writ­ten one-page let­ter, en­ti­tled “Apol­ogy to fam­ily” wherein Saun­ders speaks about the pain he caused the Pi­eters fam­ily and his own.

“I deeply re­gret what I’ve done and I’m truly ashamed for my ac­tions on that day. I will have to live with the fact that I’m re­spon­si­ble for a child’s death,” said the let­ter writ­ten in cap­i­tal let­ters. Saun­ders, who was found guilty of the rape and pre­med­i­tated mur­der of 3-year-old Court­ney Pi­eters, was back in the dock this week in the West­ern Cape High Court as sen­tenc­ing pro­ce­dures con­tin­ued.

The lit­tle girl’s body was found on May 13, 2017 near a dump­ing site in Ep­ping and was pos­i­tively iden­ti­fied by her par­ents the next day.

Her body was dis­cov­ered nine days af­ter she dis­ap­peared from her home.

In the let­ter, Saun­ders apol­o­gises to Court­ney, her fam­ily, and to the com­mu­nity of Al­berau, near Elsies River, for what he did.

“And if they can find it in their hearts to forgive me some day,” said the let­ter. The court found that Saun­ders used ant poi­son on the tod­dler, in re­tal­i­a­tion over a dis­pute he al­legedly had with her mother, Juanita Pi­eters.

It emerged in court while the State and de­fence pre­sented their mit­i­ga­tion and ag­gra­va­tion ar­gu­ments, that Saun­ders, him­self a fa­ther of three, was para­noid that he would be poi­soned by his own mother, aunt and a for­mer girl­friend.

Ac­cord­ing to the pro­ba­tion of­fi­cer, Jeremy Kessie, Saun­ders was also para­noid that Juanita would poi­son his room. In a rare move, Court­ney’s fa­ther, Aaron Fourie, told re­porters out­side the court that they want Saun­ders to serve two life sen­tences. “We are still very hurt by the trauma caused. It hurts even more be­cause he was a child­hood friend of mine. It hurts the most at night when we go to bed and you think about her not be­ing there any­more,” said Fourie.

Fourie and Saun­ders usu­ally run from the me­dia when pro­ceed­ings are ad­journed.

So­cial worker Eve­lyn Torode told the court that Court­ney’s older teenage sis­ter blames her­self for what hap­pened.

Torode’s re­port also con­tained a doc­u­ment where Juanita wrote about how she felt fol­low­ing the death of her daugh­ter.

“Juanita is strug­gling to come to terms with (the death of Court­ney). She said she wanted the court to de­cide (the ap­pro­pri­ate sen­tence) but her last words to me were ‘God does not rest’,” Torode said.

Out­side court, Juanita said: “It’s not nice hav­ing to come back to court ev­ery time to sit and hear the things my baby had to go through. It hurts. We want this to be over,” she said.

In the let­ter, Saun­ders also thanks his fam­ily for their con­tin­ued sup­port. His fam­ily does not at­tend court reg­u­larly and is rarely seen at pro­ceed­ings.

The case will con­tinue on De­cem­ber 11.

NOOR SLAMDIEN African News Agency (ANA)

CON­VICTED mur­derer and child rapist Mor­timer Saun­ders, pic­tured above, has writ­ten an apol­ogy to his vic­tim’s fam­ily and the com­mu­nity.|

The Marc Shop­ping Cen­ter,129 Rivo­nia Road, Sand­ton

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