546 Hermanus Engelbrecht who is charged with with rape, child abuse, assault and attempted murders appeared for bail hearing at the Springs Regional court. 040614 Picture: Boxer Ngwenya

Johannesburg - A man accused of abusing his wife and five children and holding them captive was denied bail in the Springs Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

The matter was postponed to June 12 to give the man - who cannot be named to protect the identity of his family - an opportunity to apply for Legal Aid.

The court erupted in applause as his bail was denied.

The man was arrested in May after his 11-year-old son apparently fled the family's house in Springs and went to a neighbour's house. The neighbour called police.

The man allegedly kept his wife and five children, aged between two and 16, captive in the house and assaulted them. - Sapa