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Sasolburg - A 42-year-old man was sentenced to life imprisonment for a string of rapes, kidnappings and assaults in Sasolburg, Free State police said on Friday.

In a statement, police spokesman Peter Kareli said Buti Kock and his friends targeted women in the Sasolburg area in 2015. They group would kidnap women in the area, drive them to a secluded place in the Vaal area, rob them and rape them.

Kareli said police made a breakthrough this year after a woman was raped and assaulted in February.

"The suspect who was with his friends took the female to a house in Parys where they repeatedly raped her and assaulted her. She managed to escape and notify the police," Kareli said.

"The suspect was arrested and he was therefore linked through DNA with three other cases, including two others that happened back in 2015."

The suspect was sentenced in the Sasolburg High Court to three life terms for the three rapes. He was also handed a 46-year sentence for robbery, kidnapping and attempted murder.

African News Agency (ANA)