A 12-year-old boy was attacked and sodomised in a neighbour's house in Mpumalanga in the early hours of Friday morning.
The boy had been asked to sleep in his neighbour's house at a farm near Piet Retief while the owners went on holiday.
Police said yesterday that a stranger gained entry into the house through an open window and overpowered the boy at about 2.30am.
"The suspect woke the boy up from his sleep and raped him. He told us the suspect was a very big man," Mpumalanga police spokesman, Superintendent Abie Khoabane said yesterday.
He said the man did not use a condom during the attack and a tissue that he had used to wipe his semen was found on the scene.
"The tissue will form part of the forensic evidence during our investigations," said Khoabane.
The man disappeared into the night after the incident and the boy went home to inform his parents about his ordeal.
Khoabane said the boy was receiving counselling as he was extremely traumatised about the experience.