Cape Town - Murder has been added to the charges facing a man accused of raping a nine-year-old girl and setting her alight, the National Prosecuting Authority said on Thursday.

Western Cape spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said the 27-year-old man, who cannot be named until he has pleaded, appeared in the Bellville Magistrate's Court and his case was postponed to May 8.

The man was charged with rape, sexual assault, abduction and attempted murder. The last charge was changed to murder after the girl died in hospital on March 18, almost three months after the attack. The man previously abandoned his bail application.

An application to have him kept in solitary confinement at Goodwood Prison, because he had been assaulted, was granted. The magistrate ordered that he be kept under medical observation.

Sapa