Cape Town – Slain three-year-old Courtney Pieters’s mom Juanita has still not received the home promised to her by President Jacob Zuma.
Days before the toddler was buried on May 20 Zuma had told Pieters during his visit to the house she shares with the family of her partner and Courtney’s father Aaron Fourie in Salberau Estate that her family would receive a home of their own through the Jacob Zuma Foundation.
Yesterday Pieters said: “There was never a moment I or Aaron asked for the house. People who were present during the visit said we needed a home.”
Cape Times visited reported that she was recovering from an illness. She was disappointed people she took into her confidence were spreading rumours.
“I am very upset over the lies in other news publications regarding my personal issues. Nobody came to me to verify anything. People have now been looking at my family and me funny and it’s forever an issue.
“One can’t even walk in the road and people mock you. After people read what was recently printed in a newspaper they are now mocking me saying I won’t get the house,” Pieters said.
After a week attempting to get clarity about the delay, the Jacob Zuma Foundation had not responded to calls and emails despite acknowledging receipt of the enquiries.
Pieters said receiving the home would be like a “new beginning” for her family, which includes a son Adrian, 6. They still live at the Pluto Street home from where Courtney went missing. It’s home to Fourie’s extended family and is shared with 13 other tenants.
Pieters said she was still receiving threats from people who alleged she had played a role in her daughter’s disappearance.
“I don’t know why people are spreading such ugly rumours. Recently, I laid a charge of defamation at the police station after two people spread lies about me,” Pieters said.
She added that she would not want people to know where the house was located “because one never knows who would want to come there and harm us”.
Fourie said they had heard the house was located somewhere in Delft.
“We do not know if the house has been built yet or what it will look like,” he said.
About the delay in handing over the house, Fourie said it may be that the Zuma Foundation was hesitant because Pieters was not yet legally divorced from her estranged husband who lived in rural Tulbagh.
“Juanita went (to the city centre last week) to sort out papers for her divorce,” he said.
Mortimer Saunders, the man in custody and on trial for the murder of Courtney, will appear in court again on August 24.
Saunders was charged with murdering and raping the toddler. He was a tenant for three years in the same house where Courtney lived with her parents. He was Fourie’s childhood friend.
He will make his third court appearance in the Goodwood Magistrate’s Court on August 24.
“I will attend all court proceedings even though people want to come to court to hurt me. I want closure as well,” Pieters said.
Courtney was reported missing on May 4 and her lifeless body was found nine days later in an open field in Bofors Circle. The Pluto Street home was cordoned off as a crime scene the day after her body was found following investigations by the police dog unit.
Saunders went on the run for a few hours before police nabbed him near a school in the area.
He is being held at the hospital wing of the prison for his safety.