Johannesburg - The blonde hair of the alleged Springs Monster’s wife was dishevelled – a stark contrast to her pristine, long white nails and black and white faux fur jacket.
The 36-year-old wife and mother stood in the dock of the Springs Regional Court on Tuesday and looked like a deer caught in headlights during her first court appearance.
As she walked up from the holding cells, she looked dazed and confused and even stared directly at the media cameras as they snapped her repeatedly until someone from the gallery told her to look at the magistrate.
She wore make-up around her eyes, but no lipstick. And, under the jacket, she wore a second hooded jacket zipped up to her neck.
The woman barely moved in the dock of the chilly courtroom.
The appearance lasted no more than a few minutes and she did not speak as magistrate Roy le Roux postponed the case to Tuesday for a formal bail application.
She then quickly disappeared back down into the holding cells.
The mother-of-five allegedly subjected her children to filthy living conditions and repeated beatings. She is facing charges of child abuse, attempted murder, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and defeating the ends of justice.
She was arrested on Monday, a month after her husband was held for the same alleged crimes.
He faces an additional charge of raping her.
The couple’s names are being withheld to protect the identities of their children, aged 16, 11, 3, 2 and 1.
A group of anti-child-abuse supporters attended the wife’s appearance and called for her to be denied bail, as her husband was on June 5.
Outside court, Maria Potgieter held up a sign that read “No bail for child abusers” and said an example should be made of them.
“I think they must get long sentences.
“The child abuse must be stopped… nobody stands up for children these days,” Potgieter said.
She wore a white T-shirt on which she had written in felt-tip pen: “Stop child abuse. It’s God children”.
The group of supporters for the alleged victims was visibly smaller on Tuesday than when the husband made his last court appearance on June 12.
“The people is (sic) working and didn’t get time off,” explained Potgieter.