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A nine-year-old girl has been hospitalised after allegedly being repeatedly gang raped by five men in KaNyamazane, Mpumalanga.
Police said the little girl was asleep with her mother and her three-year-old brother when five armed men broke into the house and demanded money from the mother at about 3am on Sunday.
The gang, armed with guns and knives, took the child with them when they realised the mother had no money.
Superintendent Mtsholi Bhembe, a spokesman for the Lowveld police, said the men stabbed the mother on her hands when she tried to prevent them from taking her daughter.
"They took the girl to a graveyard and allegedly took turns raping her," said Bhembe.
Two suspects returned to loot the house while the other three continued raping the little girl.
Bhembe said: "We are appealing to the community to come forward with information that can help us to arrest these heartless criminals.
"We are tired of people who rape young children. Police will make sure that those who commit such crimes face the music."
The child is receiving treatment and counselling at Themba Hospital in Kabokweni.
More than seven children under the age of nine were raped this month in Mpumalanga.