Arguments about whether or not a teenager‚ convicted in August on a litany of charges‚ including the brutal rape and murder of a 95-year-old Uitenhage woman‚ should be sentenced under the Child Justice Act were heard in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Monday.
The legal counsel for Phumzile Mabope‚ 19‚ advocate Jodine Coertzen‚ asked judge Dayalin Chetty to consider the fact that her client was only 16 when his crime spree began.
This‚ she said‚ was a mitigating circumstance for Mabope to receive a lesser sentence.
Chetty is expected to hand down sentencing on Thursday.
“The pre-sentence report shows a very sad story‚” Coertzen said. “[Mabope] is one of the statistics that fell through the cracks.
“It is abundantly clear that [Mabope] started his crimes out of necessity to survive. If he had better guidance from his parents then maybe we would not be here today.”
Coertzen told the court that Mabope had been a case study for the department of social development for some time.
The Child Justice Act provides for a maximum sentence of 25 years.