Scottburgh - A man has been sentenced to life in jail by the Scottburgh Regional Court for the kidnap, rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl in Amandawe, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Wednesday.

Sizwe Thando Dlamini, 22, was sentenced on Monday to 10 years for housebreaking and kidnapping, 15 years for murder, and life in jail for rape, on Monday, Colonel Jay Naicker said.

The sentences would run concurrently.

“He was also declared unfit to possess a firearm and the court ordered that his name be entered in the National Register for Sex Offenders (NRSO).”

Dlamini kidnapped Nonhle Mellisa Gumede from her grandmother's house in Majenda ward, Amandawe in October.

Nonhle and her sister, three, had gone over to sleep at their grandmother's house with their aunt.

The main door at the house was closed but not locked when the children went to sleep because the aunt was expected to return home late, Naicker said.

“When the grandmother awoke at about 1.30am she found Nonhle missing with her blanket and the door standing ajar. The children's aunt had not returned by then.”

A missing person's report was opened at the Scottburgh police station.

The child's body was discovered at a river six days later, by locals.

“The body, which had already begun decomposing, was removed to the Park Rynie State Mortuary where it was established during the post mortem that she had been raped and murdered,” Naicker said.

A tip-off led to Dlamini's arrest on July 1 in Kwa Makhuta, Isipingo in Durban.

Sapa