Picture: Zelda Venter

Pretoria - The trial of the so-called Springs monster and his wife was on Monday once again postponed in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, to give a psychologist time to prepare a report regarding the 39-year-old mother’s mental state at the time she and her husband allegedly abused their five children.

Judge Eben Jordaan last week demanded that a representative of Legal Aid South Africa explain why the report, which was apparently commissioned last year already, was not ready.

The judge now indicated that it was explained to him in chambers what the deal was and that a psychologist had now been appointed. The expert, however, needed two months to consult with the woman and to finalise the report.

Both parents cannot afford to pay for their own defence and they are being defended by advocates appointed and paid for by the State.

The mother’s defence to the array of charges regarding the abuse and neglect of her children, is that she too, was a victim of her husband’s “abusive nature.” According to her there was nothing she could do to protect them against him.

The children -  aged between three and 16 when their parents were arrested in 2014, are in a place of safety.

They were rescued from the so-called house of horrors after the police raided the double storey house when the neighbours contacted them. This was after the couple’s then 11-year-old son ran to the neighbours for help as his father had severely beaten him.

The police and social services uncovered what they called “a filthy nest”  with rats “as big as puppies” running around the house. It was claimed that the mother, who was dressed in skimpy clothes when the police got there, often used drugs given to her by her husband and that she did not lift a finger when her husband abused the children.

The mother said she too, was her husband’s “prisoner” and he made her dress like a prostitute, while demanding sex several times a day from her. 

The prosecution is of the opinion that the defence is on a “fishing expedition”  to try and find a defence for the mother. The judge, on the other hand, earlier said he was interested to hear what a psychologist had to say about the woman. 

The husband denied all the charges against him, but he was adamant that he did not want to take the stand to defend himself. This, while the mother during her evidence, pointed all the fingers at him.

It is clear that the couple are not on speaking terms, as they ignore each other in the dock and sit far apart.

The trial was meanwhile postponed to May 7 until May 18.

Pretoria News