The affordable education loan option
Nelspruit - A man convicted of raping a seven-year-old girl was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Nelspruit Regional Court on Tuesday.
Nhlanhla Surprise Shongwe, 23, of Low's Creek outside Barberton, was arrested on October 5 last year after raping his neighbour’s child, a Sapa correspondent reported.
He accosted the girl and another child while they were walking from their creche to fetch water from a tank.
Shongwe dragged the seven-year-old to his home, took her into his room and raped her. He later threatened to kill her if she told anyone what he had done.
Shongwe pleaded guilty to a charge of rape and magistrate Willie Wilkens found him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Prosecutor Elise du Plessis said Shongwe had destroyed the child's future.
“She no longer can be afforded the opportunity to play free with other children on the streets. This was uncalled for.”
Du Plessis said Shongwe had not shown remorse during the trial.
“He has been fighting with the court and his lawyer. There are no compelling and substantial circumstances for a lesser sentence,” she said.
“This is an innocent child and until now he still denies the charge.”
Wilkens declared Shongwe unfit to work with children or to own a firearm, and said his name would be placed on the national register of child offenders.
“If you get released and get a job, you should reveal this conviction to your new employer. If you fail, a fine for R140 000 or seven years' imprisonment will be imposed on you,” he said.