Strand man jailed to 25 years for raping neighbour’s daughter after promising her a packet of chips

A Strand rapist has been jailed to 25 years for raping his neighbour’s daughter. File Picture

A Strand rapist has been jailed to 25 years for raping his neighbour’s daughter. File Picture

Published Feb 22, 2024


A 35-year-old Western Cape rapist who pleaded guilty to raping his neighbour’s daughter has been sentenced to an effective 25 years behind bars.

Abongile Mhlaba was sentenced this week in the Strand Regional Court.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said the court ordered that Mhlaba serve two-thirds of his sentence before he is considered for parole.

His name will also be entered into the National Register of Sex Offenders.

Speaking about the court proceedings, Western Cape NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said Mhlaba confessed that he was at at his home in Asanda village, Strand, in 2018 when he heard his neighbour’s daughter playing outside.

“He told the court that he knew she was seven-years-old and called her, with a promise of giving her a packet of chips.

“He had given children in the street chips and sweets on previous occasions.

“The victim unsuspectingly entered his residence to collect the chips. After she entered, he locked the door and threw her on his bed. He undressed her and raped her. She attempted to scream, but he closed her mouth with his hand.”

Ntabazalila said the accused recalled the little girl fighting him off, and then running away.

He said he found out the girl had later moved away to live with her mother.

Mhlaba was arrested in July 2021 when the victim disclosed to her cousin that he had raped her.

Ntabazalila said the State argued that the accused had exploited the victim’s trust, vulnerability, and innocence.

National Police Minister Bheki Cele ,at the release of the crime statistics, said 4,264 people were arrested during the period of October and December 2023 for crimes relating to gender-based violence (GBV), such as rape and sexual assault.

A total of 112 life sentences were handed down to 89 rapists and perpetrators of GBV and femicide during the same period.

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