On January 1, 2018, in Phokeng, the family was having New Year’s celebrations at their home just after midnight.
The mother of the child noticed her daughter was not with her cousins who were playing. She went back into the house to search for her daughter and found her next to the uncle looking frightened.
After asking the child why she was scared, the court heard the girl had told her mother the uncle had kissed her and inserted his finger into her private parts.
The child was taken for a medical examination and the matter was reported to the police.
The man was arrested two days after the incident and was granted bail by the court.
However, after his failure to return to court, a warrant for his arrest was issued and he was rearrested and remanded in custody until the completion of his trial.
During the matter, the 55-year-old man pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him.
The investigation revealed he had two previous convictions of rape which occurred in 1988 and 1999.
During aggravation of sentencing, State prosecutor Sangweni Zimena highlighted how the uncle abused the trust the child had towards him.
Magistrate Segakweng Moeng agreed with the State and remarked the age of the accused and the severity of the case cumulatively constituted compelling and substantial factors resulting in a 20-year prison sentence.
The court further declared him unfit to possess a firearm and for his name to be added to the Register of Sexual Offenders.
He was further deemed unfit to work with children.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the North West, Dr Rachel Makhari lauded the team for ensuring a successful conviction.