A 36 year old man stands before the Judge in the Springs Magistrate's Court charged with child abuse and assault. Police rescued 5 children and their mother from a house in Springs where the father is alleged to have kept them imprisoned for years against their will. 280513. Picture: Chris Collingridge 718

Johannesburg - A man accused of kidnapping and assaulting his wife and five children applied for bail in the Springs Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

Dressed in a slightly crinkled white shirt, the accused stood in the dock, keeping his eyes focused on the magistrate as his lawyer read his affidavit.

While the affidavit was written in English, the court proceedings were carried out in Afrikaans.

In the affidavit, the accused, who cannot be named to protect his family, said he had no intention of fleeing the country.

Non-governmental organisations and community members who had packed the court listened attentively to the proceedings.

Slogans written on brown cardboard boxes the group had carried while demonstrating earlier were placed on a table outside the courtroom.

The words “stop child abuse” were written on most of them.

One woman sitting in the very back row of the court whipped out her phone to take an image of the accused.

The man was arrested last month following allegations that he had assaulted and kept his wife and children, aged between two and 16, captive in his Springs home.

Police were called to the house after one of the children fled the house and alerted a neighbour.

The public has called for him to be denied bail.

The case continues. - Sapa