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Convicted gangster emotional as daughter’s letter read out

Family members of 17 convicted gangsters testified today.

FILE: Members of the 28s gang in court. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The 11-year-old daughter of convicted gangster Derrick Claasen has written a letter to judge Chantel Fortuin pleading for leniency her father.

Family members of 17 convicted gangsters, including gang boss George 'Geweld' Thomas, are testifying in mitigation of sentence.

Claasen fought back tears during an emotional testimony by Wendy Ecksteen, his girlfriend's mother.

Ecksteen read out a letter written by Claasen's 11-year-old daughter, asking the judge to be lenient when sentencing her father.

Claasen and fellow gang member Peter McNeil were found guilty of the murder of state witness Haywin Strydom in 2008.

The men now each face a life sentence.

Meanwhile, the defence for the 17 convicted gangsters has been warned after causing several delays due to the absence of witnesses.

The matter has again been adjourned and will continue on Thursday.

Fortuin today reprimanded the defence counsel, saying she would not tolerate any further delays.

Court was briefly adjourned this morning because two convicts first requested new legal representation and then retracted the request.

Arguments in aggravation and mitigation of sentence are expected to wrap over the next few days.

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