Judge Fikile Mokholoa said Elias Mncwango, 53, committed a heinous crime that was “brutal beyond description”.
However, Mokholoa said there were substantial and compelling circumstances to not sentence Mncwango to life in jail.
He admitted killing the child in anger after the girl’s mother, Tholi Dlamini, stayed away from him for 12 days. He testified he had been drinking at the time.
After burying the girl’s corpse he returned to Mozambique. Mncwango told her in a phone call from Mozambique that he would return to their home near Vryheid and show her where he buried the body.
She informed the police, who arrested Mcwango in Johannesburg on November 22.
Mokholoa said the fact that Mncwango returned from Mozambique and pointed out the grave so Dlamini could bury her child properly counted in his favour. He pleaded guilty and also showed remorse during the trial, Mokholoa said.