A 12-year old child had been repeatedly raped by her uncle while the mother was away in Cape Town on business.

He received a life sentence last week for raping and later impregnating his niece.

Clinical psychologist Linda Pera said the trauma the child endured would last a lifetime.

“It’s not just something you overcome and forget,” she said.

According to Pera, this event will almost certainly impact the emotional and psychological growth of the child.

“The emotional maturation of the child is significantly stunted; they can’t mature emotionally as they should and as they would have,” she added.

The child’s mother had gone to Cape Town on business and left her daughter at home in Mayfair with her two brothers.

Joburg police spokesperson Captain Xoli Mbele was not able to confirm the duration of her trip.

The man raped his niece in the afternoon when she returned from school and while his brother was at work.

The mother thought her daughter was just suffering from a bout of constipation and took her to a clinic, where she was given medication.

It was discovered and confirmed in the hospital that she was pregnant.

The child was said to have been already in her seventh month of gestation when her pregnancy was discovered.

The child eventually disclosed that it was in fact her uncle who had raped and impregnated her.

Clinical child psychologist Christine Scolari said the girl underwent a double trauma – the rape, and that a known and trusted adult was the perpetrator.

“To move forward, the girl will need extensive support from her family and other adults, such as teachers, as well as professional counselling.”