Handcuff, blowtorches used in Springs 'house of horrors'

2016-06-03 14:04
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 - The children of the alleged Springs "house of horrors" were handcuffed, shoved into a cupboard and assaulted with a blowtorch, the North Gauteng High Court heard in Pretoria on Friday.

On Friday, the court was given a 360° virtual tour of the house using images taken using a Spheron device.

In the lounge were two steel pillars that, according to State, one of the victims, a 13-year-old boy, testified he had been strung up between. 

The house appeared to be untidy both inside and out. Blankets and clothes were scattered next to a hole underneath the house.

Rubbish floated on what little water remained in the swimming pool.

"The water of the swimming pool has not seen chlorine for some time," Judge Eben Jordaan remarked.

One of the photos showed a rat inside the house.

Warrant Officer Lourens Smit, who found the 13-year-old boy at an aunt's house in Warden, Free State, testified that the child was badly bruised and crying. The boy was taken there after he ran to a neighbour's house, in Springs, for help. 

Smit, from Warden, told the court that Springs police asked him to go to a home where the boy was. He said he was shocked by the boy’s condition.

"Both his eyes were beaten blue. One of his cheeks was also blue and he had a cut on his one ear," the officer said.

He testified that he bought the boy a cool drink, some sweets and chips, but he did not want any of it.

Parents in court

Both parents were in court on Friday.

They sat a few meters apart and barely made eye contact. The father, a tall man, wore a purple chequered shirt. His hair was neatly combed hair. The mother wore a black top with silver stripes.

They are on trial on charges of neglecting and abusing their five children.

The man faces 22 charges and his estranged wife 20. These include rape, child abuse, and drug possession and dealing. Both are 36 years old.

The husband pleaded guilty to only one of the 22 charges, namely that he tried to stop a police officer from doing his work. The couple pleaded not guilty to all the other charges.

The two may not be named to protect the identities of their children, some of whom are minors.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  crime  |  child abuse

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