A 21 year old man charged for raping and attempting to murder his niece has been convicted and sentenced at the Empangeni Regional Court on Monday.

Police said in a statement that on October 17, 2015 the victim – who was nine years old at the time – was approached by her uncle who raped and attempted to strangle her at home.

The Acting Provincial Commissioner of KwaZulu-Natal, Major General Bheki Langa condemned the act and also welcomed the sentence handed down to the accused.

“It is disturbing to hear that the man who was supposed to protect his niece is the one who abused and raped her. We cannot tolerate such behaviour by anyone and I encouraged the abused women and children to break the silence and report such incidents without any fear.”

“The victim cried for help and the accused fled the scene. A case of rape and attempted murder was opened at Empangeni police station and the case was transferred to Empangeni Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit,” he said.

Police said investigations that followed led to the arrest of the accused uncle.

“He was charged accordingly and was taken to court to face his deeds. Eventually he was convicted and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment and three years for attempted murder.”

The man’s identity is however being withheld to protect the child since they are relatives.