A man has been sentenced in the Bellville Regional Court for the rape of his neighbour’s 8-year-old grandchild in Cape Town.

The man, 24, was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment.

According to Eric Ntabazalila, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson, the incident occurred on May 26, 2018, when the girl was alone at her grandmother’s house. The grandmother is said to have gone over to a neighbour to bake bread. The 24-year-old is the neighbour’s son.

Ntabazalila said when the grandmother returned home she noticed the door was locked. She knocked several times before the man (the suspect) opened the door. She asked him how he had gained entry to her home and he told her he had his own key, and suddenly left the house.

The woman noticed her granddaughter was still awake and that’s when she said the suspect had raped her. The grandmother took the girl to the man’s house, where she confronted him.

He denied the accusations and claimed he offered money for transport to take the little girl to the doctor and the police station. He was later arrested and the version of events he gave the court was rejected.

State prosecutor Yolanda Pretorius called the victim, her grandmother and a doctor to testify. The man was subsequently convicted.

Pretorius said the girl was assisted by the court preparation officer before trial to ensure she was calm and relaxed when giving evidence.

She stated the importance of work done by court preparation officers cannot be emphasised enough.