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Man found guilty of brutal rape and murder of 3-year-old girl in South Africa

A man, Mortimer Saunders has been found guilty of the brutal rape and premeditated murder of 3-year-old Courtney Pieters in Cape Town. 

Judge Pearl Mantame made the finding at about noon on Wednesday after delivering a lengthy judgement in the Cape Town high court.

Saunders confessed to killing Courtney‚ who lived in Elsies River‚ with ant poison and claimed that he had then committed necrophilia.

She was murdered in May 2017 and her body was only found days later after a massive search. S

Mantame rejected the self-confessed murder’s version that he did not rape the child but only inserted his fingers into her after she had died.

“The accused is not honest‚” said Mantame. “The fact that he said he inserted his fingers … is because he did not want to be convicted for rape"

A calm Saunders expressed no emotion as he was convicted. In his plea explanation in May‚ Saunders said: 
“I unlawfully and intentionally committed a sexual act with a corpse.”
 Courtney was murdered in her home in Elsies River in May last year. Saunders was a tenant there at the time and he was also friends with Courtney’s father‚ Aaron Fourie. The little girl was in the care of her six-year-old brother.

The matter has been postponed to December 4 for sentencing procedures.

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