The wife of the so-called "Springs Monster" took the stand in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria. File picture: Chris Collingridge/Independent Media

Pretoria – Bizarre details of rats as big as puppies running around the house, sexual torture, drug use and dressing-up like a prostitute emerged this week when the wife of the so-called "Springs Monster" took the stand in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria.

The 37-year-old woman and her now estranged 37-year-old husband are facing an array of charges allegedly committed against their five children. According to evidence it is especially their eldest two children – a girl aged 16 and a boy aged 11 – who suffered the most.

It is claimed that the man tortured and assaulted these children and even sexually abused his daughter. The mother said she too, was a victim of his assaults. She claimed her hands were tied to do anything to help her children, as she was terrified of him.

The family lived in a huge double-storey house in Springs when the police swooped on the property. This was after the 11-year-old was so severely assaulted by his father that he ran to the neighbours for help.

Pics: Inside the Springs ‘house of horror’

The man went after the boy and took him back home, but the neighbours alerted the police. Social services took the children away and the police eventually arrested the couple. This brought to an end years of alleged abuse which the children had to endure.

The woman on Monday testified that her husband was brutal and that she and the children were terrified of him. According to her he used to inject himself with steroids to build-up his muscles.

A picture was handed to court depicting what he looked like before his arrest. Judge Eben Jordaan, after looking at the picture, remarked that that man was a far cry from the man sitting in the dock on Monday. “You won’t say it’s the same man, he is now much more scrawny,” the judge said.

The woman also underwent a change since her arrests. She now wore conservative clothes and no make-up and sported short, brown hair.

But before their arrest she had long blond hair and wore heavy, dark make-up. “My husband made me wear mini-skirts, boots and short tops. I also had to wear shushu pants.” Asked by the judge what “shushu pants” were, she explained “shorts with my backside hanging out.”

The woman testified how her husband demanded sex up to 10 times a day and when she did not want to oblige, he assaulted her. “He also cuffed me with outstretched arms to the feet of the pool table. He threw water at me and often left me like this until the next morning.”

According to the woman her husband wanted her beside him 24 hours a day. “He was afraid I would run away or call the police.”

She testified that there were at least 37 video cameras in and around the house, which showed around-the-clock video images and recorded what she and the children were up to during the day.

“When he came home he watched the recordings.”

The case proceeds on Wednesday.

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