Children of 'Springs house of horrors' set to testify

2016-05-24 17:21
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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Pretoria - Two of the five children from the "house of horrors" in Springs will testify in camera on Wednesday.

They were due to testify against their parents in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday, but the matter was postponed.

The girl, 18, and boy, 13, the two oldest of five children, would testify via closed circuit television. This was so they would not have to look at their parents in the courtroom.

Prosecutor Jennifer Cronje told Judge Eben Jordaan on Tuesday that the children were ready to testify, although the 13-year-old boy was particularly emotional.

On Monday, the parents pleaded not guilty to charges including the attempted murder of their 13-year-old son, attempted obstruction of justice, five charges of child abuse, five of child neglect, two of breaking the Schools Act, showing pornographic material to the oldest daughter when she was still under 18, and using and distributing crystal methamphetamine.

Another charge related to making fireworks wrapped in nails with masking tape.

Mom out on bail

The father pleaded not guilty to 21 charges that included the alleged abuse and rape of his oldest daughter.

He however pleaded guilty to one charge of stopping police from doing their work when they searched for one of his children in May 2014.

The mother pleaded not guilty to 20 charges.

The father was arrested in May 2014 after his son, then 11, fled the house and ran to a neighbour for help.

The State alleged in the indictment that the parents tried to take him from the neighbour’s house by force.

The father, a tall and heavy-set man, appeared briefly in court on Tuesday wearing a blue check shirt. He was in custody while the mother was out on bail.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  crime  |  child abuse

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