File photo.

Johannesburg -

An alleged child rapist was among 22 people arrested in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg, during a weekend operation, Gauteng police said on Monday.

The 34-year-old man allegedly raped a 12-year-old girl last week, Warrant Officer Daniel Mavimbela said.

“It is believed the suspect was escorting the girl to a local primary school when he diverted her to his house. According to information, the suspect kept the young girl at his place until the following morning.”

A local resident found the girl at the man's house. She said she had been raped. Police were alerted and the man was arrested.

The other people arrested were wanted for crimes such as assault, housebreaking, possession of unlicensed firearms, attempted murder, malicious damage to property, and murder.

The operation took place between 3pm on Friday and the early hours of Monday morning. All 22 were expected to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court soon. - Sapa