'House of horrors' dad admits punching boy

2014-05-31 10:42
A Springs man accused of abusing five children while keeping them captive for more than a decade, appears in court. (Mujahid Safodien, AFP)

A Springs man accused of abusing five children while keeping them captive for more than a decade, appears in court. (Mujahid Safodien, AFP)

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Bloemfontein - The Springs man accused of assaulting and keeping his family captive has admitted punching his 11-year-old son between the eyes.

Volksblad reported on Saturday that the 36-year-old man confessed to family members who visited him in Modderbee prison that he had beaten his son because the boy had lost the electronic key to his vehicle, valued at R8 000.

The boy then fled to neighbours, who called the father, and later called the police. This led to the discovery of the so-called "house of horrors" in an upmarket area of Springs.

The man was arrested and charged with assault and kidnapping, Sapa reported. He appeared in the Springs Magistrate's Court on Wednesday and will remain in custody until his next court appearance on 4 June.

The family members, from Warden in the Free State, told Volksblad that the man knew he was wrong to have hit the boy, but said he was angry after the boy ignored his request to look for the key and instead went to watch TV.

Drug abuse

The relatives also said that the image of the man as a monster is biased, and the reality of the situation is more complex, alleging that the man's wife is addicted to the drug Cat and does not sleep for long periods.

The man admitted he also used drugs, but had been trying to get his wife into rehab.  

The couple apparently met at reform school when they were 14, and both had difficult family circumstances and learning difficulties.

The relatives also stated that the wife was free to come and go as she pleased, and had allegedly had a number of affairs. They also denied that the couple's 16-year-old daughter had been abused, saying she was not sexually active and had been taken out of school because she had learning difficulties.

'Wife also to blame'

Meanwhile, an unnamed family member told The Saturday Star that the man's wife should also have been arrested, as she also hit the children and is not without blame.

The family member also denied reports that the man is a monster, saying the children were able to move about freely.

However, the relative conceded that the man had a short fuse and became aggressive - but so did his wife, according to the report.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  child abuse  |  domestic violence
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