Three rapists have been sentenced to 18 life sentences collectively for the rape of a teenager and her mother, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Sunday.
Spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said the trio had in February 2017 broken into a house in Fairbreeze where a 17-year-old girl and her brother, 9, were asleep.
"She was repeatedly gang-raped and robbed of household items at knifepoint," Mbele said.
Cases of robbery and rape were reported to the authorities.
The children's mother, who had been working in Johannesburg, left her job to return home following the attack.
"Towards the end of March 2017, whilst the mother was sleeping, one of her daughter's attackers broke into her house armed with a knife."
She was apparently told by the attacker that they had come to kill her daughter for having opened the criminal case.
"When he realised that she was not at home, he repeatedly raped the mother."
A case was opened and within three days, all three of the men were arrested and positively identified.
The gang was arrested and tried on the charges.
Siboniso Magnificent Malevu, 29, Vusumuzi Sibusiso Zungu, 29, and Thokozani Andries Khumalo, 30 were each sentenced in the Madadeni High Court to five terms of life imprisonment for raping the daughter and 15 years imprisonment for housebreaking and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
Khumalo received an additional three terms of life imprisonment for raping the mother.