The reign of the notorious Roto gang officially ended on Friday when its leader and crime mastermind, Nkosinathi "King" Maponya, 27, was sentenced to life in prison by the Johannesburg high court.
Maponya joins four other gang members already serving life sentences for the murder of a fellow gang member Sicelo Mthembu. After he was killed they ripped out his heart, lungs intestines and genitals.
Judge Boycie Mbha said the manner in which Mthembu was killed was horrific and shocked the society.
"You planned the murder and even volunteered to do the killing yourself. You went as far as violating the dead body by removing the body parts. Clearly you have no respect for African culture, you know that we respect the dead as they are our ancestors," said Mbha.
Mbha thanked the investigating officer Inspector Happy Vilankulu for arresting all six Roto members and ensuring their conviction.
The Roto was a criminal syndicate based in Randburg, specialising in housebreaking.
In September 2004, the gang decided they had had it with Mthembu, who had previously killed two other gang members.
After two weeks of planning, the gang members met at their usual spot in an open veld in Randburg on the night of September 1 2004.
The unsuspecting Mthembu arrived at the spot ready and set for a planned housebreaking.
But he was shot in the neck by one of the gang leaders Amos "Banzi" Rolin. Maponya fired two more bullets at him while the whole gang gathered around the dying man, kicking and spitting at him, cheering and shouting "the dog is dead".
After Mthembu died, his body was cut open and his heart, lungs, intestines and genitals ripped out. What was left of him was then put in a car trunk and transported to Soweto where it was dumped near the Regina Mundi Church. His body parts were put in a plastic bag and hidden under a bridge.
Two state witnesses, who were also Roto members, testified in court that Maponya had suggested Mthembu's murder and even volunteered to do the killing.
They said Maponya shot the deceased twice and ordered that his heart be removed because "Mthembu had an evil heart".