Cape Town – Bethlehem Regional Court in the Free State has sentenced a 43-year-old man to life imprisonment for kidnapping and raping a seven-year-old girl.
Mzwane Maseko allegedly kidnapped the little girl in February 2016 while she was playing in the streets, police said in a statement.
When the mother could not find her daughter following a frantic search, she reported the child missing.
According to police spokesperson Mmako Mophiring, the suspect allegedly dropped off the child in the street the next day.
The girl told her mother what had happened and was able to point the man to her mother, added Mophiring.
“The suspect fled to nearby farms outside Bethlehem but was caught and arrested. While attending court, his case was provisionally withdrawn, pending the outcome of a DNA test which finally came back positive. He was re-arrested and awaited trial for three years,” said Mophiring.
On Monday, August 29, 2022, the accused was found guilty on both counts of kidnapping and rape and was sentenced to life imprisonment, said Mophiring.
Free State provincial commissioner, Lieutenant-General Baile Motswenyane welcomed the sentence, saying that it sent a clear message that any person who committed such an offence would face the might of the law.
“The crimes against women and children remain a priority in this country and let us protect and not abuse them. I want to thank the investigating officer on this matter, family, and colleagues who might have played a role in this case,” said Motswenyane.
Picture: Facebook/ South African Police Service
Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe