File image: ANA.

PORT ELIZABETH - A man was handed a life sentence on Wednesday for the rape of his six-year-old niece, Northern Cape police have said. 

The Northern Cape Provincial SAPS management has hailed the Investigating officer, Warrant Officer Caren Nel, from the John Taolo Gaetsewe, as well as the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit and the National Prosecuting Authority, including the Department of Justice, for an exceptional investigation and successful prosecution, which ultimately resulted in a lengthy jail term handed down to the rapist.

The accused has not been named because his identity cannot be revealed to protect the identity of the victim who is a minor. 

The six-year-old is the niece of the accused. 

In August 2015, the man accosted his six-year-old niece who had returned from school and was changing out of her school uniform in a bedroom. 

A family member walked into the room and caught theman red-handed. The family member immediately informed the child's mother of the incident, which took place in Nanana Section, Batlharos, near Kuruman. 

The man was also linked to the crime through forensic evidence. 

The Northern Cape SAPS says that the life term handed down will serve as a deterrent. 

African News Agency (ANA)