Ernest Wolmarans
2 minute read
5 Jun 2014
6:00 am

Outcry over ‘dad from hell’ – cop

Ernest Wolmarans

The anger in the Springs community about the alleged atrocities committed at the so-called "house of horrors" should not be discounted in the decision on whether to grant the accused bail, residents warned yesterday.

A man, accused of abusing his wife and five children, leaves the dock during a break in court proceedings in the Springs Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, 4 June 2014. Investigating officer Rudolf Jansen told the court of the torture and assault the children -- aged between two and 16 -- had allegedly been put through by their father. The accused, who may not be named to protect the identity of his wife and children, faces charges of assault and kidnapping.Further charges, including one of rape, were expected to be brought against him after allegations that he had forcefully had sex with his wife. The Springs man was arrested last month after his son fled the house and sought help from neighbours.Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

“They must realise the danger to him. He is going to have to run for his life if he is released because there will be a lot of angry people after his blood.”

These words from Optymistics Bikers Against Abuse member “DK” set the tone outside the Springs Magistrate’s Court yesterday where the man, who may not be identified to protect the identity of his family, appeared for a formal bail application.

In an affidavit, the accused denied being a flight risk, saying he did not have a passport and that, as a self-employed car dealer, he was drawing R40 000 a month.

“I have no previous criminal cases pending. I have no intention to leave the country or live my life as a fugitive,” the man said.

Investigating officer Rudolph Jansen said police were alerted to alleged child abuse on Tuesday, May 20, after the man’s 11-year-old son and alerted neighbours.

The neighbours returned the boy to his father, but when police followed up, they were told by the man that they did not know where the boy was. “On that day, the accused introduced himself to police as somebody else,” Officer Jansen said.

Police returned the following day and were told by the accused that his son had run away.

During another visit to the house on May 23, the accused’s wife confessed the boy had been taken to stay with relatives in the Free State, where police would not see his brutal injuries.

The boy had been on the property when police searched the house two days prior, Jansen said – hidden in one of the outbuildings. “The occupants had been instructed not to tell police he was there. The boy was later hidden above the ceiling boards, likely for hours, before being taken to the Free State,” Jansen said.

He said 16 bruises and scars, mainly to the boy’s face and head, had been noted.

The boy said his father repeatedly punched him in the face; he had been hung between two poles in the lounge by his hands and feet for two days and his head had been repeatedly pushed underwater while bathing.

Injuries had also been noted on the 16-year-old daughter from being shocked with an electrical collar, Jansen said.

He also produced a 200-page petition with about 2 000 signatures against bail and warned the community would not be tolerant.

State witness Gerard Labuschagne, section head of the SAPS investigative psychology unit, said the accused would likely intimidate witnesses if allowed to go free.