File picture: Pixabay

Johannesburg - A 29-year-old man was sentenced to two life sentences by the Johannesburg High Court on Tuesday for raping and murdering a 14-month-old baby girl. The man kidnapped the child and its mother, then raped and killed the baby in September 2015 in Tembisa.

He was also sentenced to an additional 10 years imprisonment, which will run concurrently with the life sentences. He will be legible for parole in 25 years.

"The way the crimes were committed showed that he had no regard for the baby, by raping the baby and leaving her in a field. His actions were brutal," Judge Bashier Vally said while handing down sentence.

Vally said the man had been notified during the trial that if found guilty he could face life imprisonment. He said the man, originally from KwaZulu-Natal and a school drop-out who later became a taxi driver in Johannesburg, had not presented any mitigating circumstances to deviate the court from the minimum prescribed sentences.

"He is adamant that he did not commit the crimes and cannot show any remorse. In 2008 he was convicted of house-breaking," the judge said.

The state witnesses were the mother of the 14 month old and a social worker. The mother, who was present in court, said she was traumatised and could not erase the incident from her mind as she was forced to see her child naked with her private parts exposed in a field.

"She remains tormented by this image," Judge Vally read. "The way the crimes were committed showed that he had no regard for the baby, by raping the baby and leaving her in a field. His actions were brutal."

The man stood emotionless in the dock while his sentence was handed to him.

African News Agency/ANA