Son was cuffed to cupboard – witness in Springs 'horror house' trial

2016-11-03 12:22
The father of the Springs house of horrors in court. (Wim Pretorius, News24)

The father of the Springs house of horrors in court. (Wim Pretorius, News24)

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Pretoria - A man who worked as a security guard at the Springs “house of horrors”, testified in the High Court in Pretoria on Thursday morning that a little boy was handcuffed to a kitchen cupboard while his parents went to Durban.

“The little boy sat on the ground with his hand up in the air. His one hand was cuffed to the cupboard. He could not stand any longer,” Gerhard Marais said.

Marais, his wife and three kids stayed at the house for a year. He worked as a security at the house.

Marais said he was approached by an "Oom Kallie" - man who stayed in one part of the family's house - on a Friday morning.

Kallie asked Marais for a set of handcuff keys, because the little boy was cuffed to the kitchen cupboard.

Five children

READ: Witness is afraid of Springs 'house of horrors' accused

He was told by Kallie that the parents went to Durban for the weekend and would only return the Sunday.

“We took the handcuffs off the little boy and Kallie asked that we could just cuff him back to the cupboard on Sunday before the parents arrive,” Marais said.

Marais said he was not present on the Sunday, when the parents returned.

He was testifying in the trial of the man accused of the decade-long abuse of his five children.

The couple is charged with neglecting and abusing their five children.

The man faces 22 charges and his estranged wife 20 chargers, including rape, child abuse, possession and dealing in drugs.

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

‘Naughty’ boy

Marais told the court that he had also witness the man physically assaulting his son.

“I once saw how the father hit the little boy with a fist in his face,” he said.

He did not know why the boy was cuffed to the kitchen, however.

The father's lawyer, who does not want his name published, told the court that "Kallie" also had a set of handcuffs. The lawyer also put it to Marais that the little boy often played with the handcuffs and would sometimes end up cuffing himself.

Marais confirmed that it was easy to unlock the cuffs, adding that you can open the cuffs with a paper clip.

Louiza van der Walt, for the mother, confirmed that the couple did go to Durban and that her husband had cuffed the little boy to the cupboard because he was naughty.

However, while they were away, her husband phoned Kallie and asked him to uncuff the little boy, Van der Walt put it to the witness.

When they returned from Durban, the little boy was not cuffed to the kitchen cupboard.

She asked Marais to look at the husband and asked if he had changed a lot since the last time he saw him.

“Yes he changed a lot, he was a much bigger man when I stayed there,” Marais said.

The father's lawyer told the court his client would no longer be taking the stand and that he would not be calling any further witnesses.

The matter was postponed to Monday, November 7.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  crime  |  child abuse

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