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This is likely due to your use of EL in the for attribute. I don't think that will resolve (I'd have to look at the code to be sure).
Try using c:forEach instead, that gets executed earlier in the lifecycle than a4j:repeat (although it doesn't work well when your collection is truly dynamic).
When using <c:forEach> it works - is this the correct behavior or is this an issue/bug with the current version of RichFaces?
The issue being that the EL is not resolved while using <a4j:repeat>
Remember the JSTL tags are evaluated at the time the component tree is built, where as the ui/a4j:repeat tags are evaluated when the response is rendered. This is a fundamental difference. The JSTL tag forces the evaluation of the value expression when building the component tree. Whereas at render time, the DataScroller Renderer [1,2] just sees a String.
To get the DataScroller's for attribute  to work with a value expression, it's type would have to be Changed to ValueExpression, and the Renderer changed to evalueate that expression (using the RenderKitUtils#evaluateAttribute method ).
Feel free to experiment with this and make sure it works. If it does, please file a jira issue and an associated GitHub Pull Request (https://community.jboss.org/wiki/GuideToUsePullRequestsWithGitHubAndJIRA)