Mandla Shoti Lubisi, 34, of Driekoppies village near the Swazi border in Mpumalanga, was sentenced in the Tonga Regional Court on Tuesday, a Sapa correspondent reported.
“I will make sure that I send you to jail because you don’t deserve to live amongst society,” magistrate Edgar Moletsane told Lubisi.
He said Lubisi was trusted in his neighbourhood but ended up raping a child.
“Your neighbours used to invite you to their house to drink liquor without thinking you were up to something. Is this how you really thank your fellow villagers, by raping their child?”
Moletsane said the neighbours and the child’s grandmother caught Lubisi in the act at his house on February 13, 2012.
He said the grandmother collapsed but when she came to, prevented her neighbours from killing Lubisi, insisting they leave the matter to law enforcement.
“I salute you grandmother for still having hope with our justice system because now we should be talking about something else, not rape only,” he said.
He said the child was taken to hospital where it was confirmed she had been raped.
Lubisi was sentenced to life imprisonment and had his right to own a gun taken from him.