Pietermaritzburg – A KwaZulu-Natal paedophile has been sentenced to three life terms for raping three children, "despite their cries for help", in the Dambuza area of Pietermaritzburg, police said on Tuesday.The 49-year-old man had raped the three children - aged between three and nine - earlier this year, while they were coming home from school, said Captain Nqobile Gwala."He promised to give them something to eat. As they entered, he locked the door and raped three of them. Despite their cries for help, the rapist did not stop, and threatened to kill them if they reported the incident," Gwala said.The victims reported the incident to their uncle, who immediately took the children to Plessislaer police station, where three cases of rape were opened.The dockets were transferred to Plessislaer Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) for investigation, Gwala said."Intensive investigation by the Plessislaer FCS investigators led to the arrest and prosecution of the accused. He was tried in Pietermaritzburg Regional Court and was kept in custody until his conviction on August 25. He was sentenced to a life term for each rape," Gwala said.Acting provincial commissioner Major General Bheki Langa said gender-based violence would be fought with harsh approach, "to protect our children and women"."We urge parents and guardians to always know the whereabouts of their children and always teach them to report similar incidents. We commend the uncle who did not hesitate to take the victims to a police station to report the incident. We need people like him in our country to always protect our children," he said.