Six-year-old Nikita Ellappen Pillay relied on her biological father for protection, comfort and medical assistance, but instead he killed her.
The Durban father, accused of beating his daughter to death with a belt, pleaded guilty to the charge in the Durban regional court yesterday.
Raveendran Pillay, 32, pleaded guilty to culpable homicide in a plea agreement.
He further agreed to a 10-year prison sentence, of which five years will be suspended.
Pillay's daughter Nikita was whipped with a belt when she returned home from school with dirty clothes on March 15 2006.
Nikita was then allegedly locked up in a toilet and later that evening began vomiting excessively.
She was declared dead on arrival at the RK Khan Hospital at 4.20am on March 16, several hours after she had complained of stomach pains.
Police alleged, at the time, that Nikita's mother and father both beat her at different times of the day. Postmortem results later revealed that Nikita had suffered long-term abuse.
Police spokesman Captain Edmund Singh said at the time: "The actual cause of death is consistent with blunt force injury to the abdomen."
Nearly 24 hours after Nikita's death Pillay and his common-law wife Shanaaz Shaik were arrested for murder.
Shaik gave birth to a second, premature baby a few months later, but it died in hospital.
The court later withdrew its charges against Shaik on humani- tarian grounds.
The charge against Pillay was amended to culpable homicide and he was later released on bail.
In the plea agreement Pillay confirmed that he had hit Nikita in the stomach. Reading the agreement, state prosecutor Blackie Swart said when Shaik had informed Pillay that Nikita was unwell, Pillay "failed-refused to act immediately in seeking medical attention", which resulted in Nikita's death.
Swart said Pillay was the girl's biological father and guardian. She relied on him for protection, comfort and medical assistance.
The court heard that Pillay was not allowed to attend his daughter's funeral and also lost his job at LR Plastics. - Sapa