Cape Town - A man who snatched a five-year-old as she walked to school and raped her at his Empangeni home has been sentenced to 25 years in jail.The 51-year-old rapist was convicted and sentenced this week in the Empangeni Regional Court, KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said in a statement.The man is a relative of the little girl. The attack took place in January 2010.The victim was threatened with death should she tell anyone, Gwala said.Five years later she broke her silence and told her teacher about it. A case of rape was opened with Empangeni police in July last year."Intensive investigations were conducted [by the Empangeni Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit] and the accused was arrested on 23 October 2015," Gwala said.Acting provincial police commissioner Major General Bhekinkosi Langa applauded the investigating team."Our kids are our future. They need to grow up in a crime-free environment. We will make sure that we protect our children from any form of abuse directed towards them," Langa said.