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Port Elizabeth - Bulelani Mhlahlo, 37, convicted of raping a seven-year-old girl was sentenced to 18 years behind bars by the Tsomo Regional Magistrate’s Court, Eastern Cape police said on Thursday. 

Police spokesperson, Captain Jackson Manatha, said the sentence was passed down on Wednesday. 

Manatha said the child had confided in her mother and it was discovered that the girl was raped in March 2015.

She was raped at Mhlahlo's house in the Madopholweni Locality, Sokapase Village, Ngqamakhwe.

The case was investigated by the Butterworth Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS).

Butterworth Cluster Commander, Brigadier Ngangema Xakavu welcomed the sentence.

He also commended the investigating officer for investigating the case professionally. 

African News Agency (ANA)