Middelburg now has its own ‘house of horrors’

Middelburg now has its own ‘house of horrors’

The six-day-old baby that was saved. Picture: Middelburg Observer

WARNING, GRAPHIC DETAILS. Three children in Mpumalanga have survived unbelievable alleged neglect at the hands of their parents.

It’s no longer just that house in Springs that can be described as a house of horrors. In court in Middelburg, a mother of three recently appeared on charges of rape, child neglect and neglecting to report sexual crimes, reports the Middelburg Observer.

The father pleaded not guilty to four charges of rape, as well as a charge of child abuse and of sexual grooming.

A social worker’s report presented to court brought to light awful neglect and abuse.

  • The nine-month-old baby boy was found with ticks and other insects in his nappy.
  • The eight-year-old daughter was allegedly raped by her father so regularly that she begged officials never to send her home. Her father appeared at the Middelburg Observer’s offices unexpectedly and aggressively denied that his children were neglected. Shortly thereafter, he disappeared with his wife.
  • The girl was never sent to school and social workers say she had the mental development of a three-year-old when welfare services removed her.
  • She was found with bloodied buttocks, without underwear.
  • Her six-day-old brother was found unconscious with an empty stomach, suffering from jaundice, and on a mat with dog faeces.
  • The newborn was treated for more than a week at Life Midmed Hospital. Animal hair first had to be removed from the child’s mouth and nostrils before paramedics could administer emergency treatment.

The woman will be sentenced later and faces possible life imprisonment. Her husband appeared in court briefly on Thursday to determine his trial date. The parents’ names are being withheld to protect the children.

The couple are both still in custody after attempting to flee from Middelburg to eMalahleni (Witbank). The court labelled them a flight risk and denied them bail.

All three children have been placed in foster care and are showing signs of recovery.

The children’s grandmother, who lived in the house with the family, was not charged despite threatening to sic the family’s dogs on welfare workers who came to fetch the children.

This article was translated from Afrikaans.

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