'Tonight I will beat you to death' - wife in 'Springs monster' trial recounts child's beating

2017-03-22 13:05
The couple during an earlier court appearance. (Netwerk24)

The couple during an earlier court appearance. (Netwerk24)

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Pretoria - The woman charged along with her husband, dubbed the "Springs monster", testified in the Pretoria High Court on Wednesday morning about the abuse she and her children suffered at his hands. 

The parents are on trial for 42 charges including rape, child and sexual abuse, and drug dealing and possession. They may not be named to protect the identities of their five children, some of whom are minors.

Police arrived at the house on the East Rand in May 2014 after the couple's son ran to a neighbour for help. The father was arrested on May 23.

The woman told the court they could never leave the house alone. She said she had tried to run away several times with the children to her family, but her husband always went to fetch them. 

Judge Eben Jordaan asked her if she had told the family what was going on at home. She softly replied, "Yes".

"He promised my sisters and family that he will never hit me and the children again." 

'Kinky sex' cover-up

Defence attorney Louiza van der Walt asked if anyone had ever opened a case at the police station. 

"Yes, his cousin Jan did. He once [gave] me a blue eye and told me to tell the police that we had kinky sex. When the police arrived I had sunglasses on and the police asked me to remove [them]."

She said the police asked her what had happened to her eye. Her husband told the police that they had kinky sex. 

"He stood behind the police and showed his fist to me and told me he will hit me if I tell anything to the police."

During her first 30 minutes of testimony the woman looked calm, but was often asked to speak up.

One day in May 2014, one of the children lost the car keys and his father told him if he did not find them he would hit him. 

The wife and the children looked for the keys of the Toyota Fortuner. When they couldn't find them, the little boy ran away to the neighbour's house.

The boy refused to come back home. 

Child punched repeatedly

"When the man arrived at the house, I told him that the boy is at the house of the neighbours. He went there and dragged him out [by] the arm. He also slapped him [on] the head," she said. 

According to the wife, the man told the child: "Vanaand donner ek jou dood [Tonight I will beat you to death]."

"He sat on top of the boy holding his arms with his legs and repeatedly hit him in the face with the fist."

Describing the incident, Jordaan likened the man to a huge front-row rugby player.

The woman said the following morning police and social workers arrived at the house. She said when they entered the house, the man and the little boy were nowhere to be found. 

"They told me that they received complaints of abuse from the neighbours. They asked where the little boy and his father were and I said I don't know." 

According to the woman, the father and son eventually returned. 

After the police and social workers left with the children, the parents followed and were given back the children. 

They took the children to Warden where the woman's sister was staying.

The court took a brief adjournment. 

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

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