Shortly after the man accused of killing little Courtney Pieters appeared in the Goodwood Magistrates’ Court, about 100 people went to the home of Juanita Pieters in Pluto Street, baying for blood.
The mom had to be escorted out of court by cops earlier after people also targeted her there.
Spokesperson for the family, Roegshanda Pascoe, came under attack outside the courtroom.
She was sworn at and shoved around as people demanded Juanita “tell the truth”.
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Roegshanda says rumours that Juanita had known Saunders was molesting her child and did nothing have been spreading like wildfire — and people now believe that bereaved mom not only hand in her daughter’s death, but that she was also having an affair with the accused.
Juanita has denied all claims and community members for spreading rumours.
“I have no idea how I am going to get over the death of my daughter. Just last night (Tuesday) I was in the kitchen and I heard her crying. I still hear her calling ‘mommy’'”, says Juanita.
“This is really tough for me, and people spreading rumours of my involvement in Courtney’s killing and having an affair with Mortimer are untrue. He and I hardly got along.”
Mortimer Saunders, 40, who was a boarder in the family’s home, was arrested on 15 May.
Neighbour Kathleen Adams, 65, says Saunders was arrested in her daughter’s house.
“They are friends and he went to them and when we asked him if he had anything to do with the child’s death, he said he would speak after her funeral and tell the truth about everything.
“My daughter called the police and he stayed there until they came,” says Kathleen.
After the screaming mob left her house yesterday, a shocked Juanita says they threatened that she “should pay for what happened to my child”.
Mense were also angry about the gifts – a house and R10 000 – from President Jacob Zuma.
“I do not know what to say to people anymore. People think I have a stash of money in my bag and used my daughter’s death to get it,” says Juanita.
“Now they are also saying I had something to do with what happened to my child. Die mense gaan aan omdat ek nie praat nie.
“I am not educated but no one has the right to accuse me like that. People can be so cruel, I’m trying to come to terms with my child’s death.”
“I do not know what happened to my child. The medical reports are not back yet and we do not even know what the cause of death is.
“All of this will come out when the postmortem results come in,” says the overwhelmed mom.