POLICE have been praised for their dedication to "rescuing" residents of Umgababa, south of Durban, from the yoke of criminals.
The Scottsburgh regional court yesterday handed down a stiff sentence to notorious gang leader Nkosinathi Zaca, 24, of Umlazi.
Zaca was convicted of and sentenced for housebreaking with intent to commit armed robbery and two counts of rape.
He was sentenced to 40 years imprisonment - 15 years on each of two counts of rape and 10 years for housebreaking with intent to rob.
The court ordered that the rape sentences run concurrently, making it an effective 25 years jail term.
Zaca was also deemed unfit to posses a firearm. It is alleged that he and his two accomplices broke into a house in Umgababa and confronted a 45-year-old-woman and her two daughters, aged 23 and 20, in November 2005.
The gang, led by Zaca, allegedly took the victims to different rooms, where they were raped them and took their cellphones and jewellery.
After raping the woman and her daughters the gang demanded money and then fled with some household appliances.
Zaca was arrested by Detective Warrant-Officer Zithulele Zama and Detective Constable Lungi Ntombela of Umzinto in December 2005 after a lengthy investigation.
The 23-year-old girl passed away before she could be called to testify against her attackers in court.
The trial of the second accused is yet to be finalised, while the third man died before he could be arrested .