Correctional Services spokesman Manelisi Wolela has denied allegations that student leader Mcebo Dla.
"WHERE was the respect for older people? in our culture we don't have youngsters messing up their elders."
This was the response of a Johannesburg high court judge when a member of the defence team insisted that his client was a respectful youngster despite being part of gang that raped a 30-year-old woman when he was 16.
Moeketsi Mphuthi, now 20, will be sentenced with co-accused Thabiso Thukwane, 24, Sello Mohlala, 24, Oupa Mohlala, 23, Kabelo Mwale, 25, Bongani Nhlapho, 22, and Mojalefa Seleka, 22, today.
In 2005, the seven men held their victim at gunpoint and raped her at her friend's house in Thembisa. They then forced her to a nearby squatter camp where they raped her again behind a pit toilet.
They have been convicted of rape and indecent assault. Mwale has additional convictions of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. He also has a previous conviction of rape.
The defence's mitigating factors include that the rapists came from broken homes, peer pressure, alcohol abuse and that they were all young when the offence was committed.
State prosecutor Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka has asked for life sentences for all the accused except Mphuthi and Nhlapho who were minors.
Gcaleka has requested that they be sentenced to a lengthy jail term.