Pretoria – Sex orgies, drug use and dressing-up like a prostitute was all in a day’s work for the wife of the so-called Springs Monster, the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, heard this week.
The 37-year-old woman took the stand to testify against her husband, also 37, during the trial in which they are facing an array of charges allegedly committed against their five children. It is especially the eldest two – a girl aged 16 and a boy 11 – who had to endure the most.
The children earlier took the stand to testify about what happened to them over a number of years and this week their mother confirmed all the incidents, but claimed that she too, was a victim of her husband’s abuse.
She divulged bizarre details of rats as big as puppies running around the house, sexual torture, drug use and dressing-up like a prostitute, while the family lived in a huge double-storey house in Springs. The house, after the pair’s arrest, became known as the “house of horrors”.
It is claimed that the man tortured and assaulted the eldest two children and even sexually abused his daughter. The mother claimed her hands were tied and she could not do anything to help her children, as she was terrified of her husband.
The police swooped on the property in 2014 after the 11-year-old was so severely assaulted by his father that he ran to the neighbours for help.
The man fetched 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 was earlier referred for psychiatric evaluation by her legal team as it appeared she had a very low intellect and could not read or write.
According to a psychologist report submitted to court, she was however, able to properly understand the proceedings and was not mentally impaired.
The woman testified that her husband was brutal and that she and the children were terrified of him. She said 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 today.
“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 arrest, dressing conservatively and with no make-up and sporting short, brown hair.
Before their arrest she had long blonde 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 that until the next morning.”
She explained that she was subjected to “kinky” sex after she was forced to watch pornographic movies with him.
He also once brought a woman called “Blondy” home and forced her to have “a three-some”, the woman testified.
She said her husband also 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 both 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.”
Her husband also refused to let the children attend school. “He said they did not need schooling,” she testified.
She admitted that the house was filthy and said there were rats running around that were so big they simply ran across the traps set for them.
Her husband would not let her clean-up. He also threw things around in fits of anger and that was why the house was in such a state of disarray, she said.
Looking at the pictures depicting the state the house was in, the Judge remarked that to say things were a mess, is an understatement.
The trial proceeds on Wednesday.