Child rapist gets 25 years after luring victim with a promise of chips

Abongile Mhlaba locked the child inside his house and raped her. Stock photo.
Abongile Mhlaba locked the child inside his house and raped her. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/milkos

A 35-year-old man who raped a child after promising to give her chips has been sentenced to 25 years' imprisonment in the Western Cape.

Abongile Mhlaba will have to serve two-thirds of his sentence before being considered for parole.

He was sentenced in the Strand regional court after admitting his actions were “wrongful and punishable” and entering a plea and sentencing agreement with the state.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said: “In his plea and sentencing agreement, he confesses that he was in his residence in Asanda Village, Strand, when he heard [a seven-year-old girl] playing outside.” 

Mhlaba was known to give treats to children in the area. He called the girl with a “promise of giving her chips”.

He locked the door after she entered his home and raped her. “She continued fighting him off, kicked him off her, unlocked the door and ran away,” said Ntabazalila.

“He was arrested in 2021 when the victim told her cousin that Mhlaba had raped her.

“He admits that he knew his actions were wrongful and punishable.

“The state argued that he exploited the girl's trust, vulnerability and innocence, the offence was serious and women and children are regarded as vulnerable and should be protected.”

Mhlaba was declared unfit to possess a firearm and the court ordered his name be entered into the national register of sex offenders.


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