'Springs Monster' pleads on day one of trial

'Springs Monster' pleads on day one of trial

The first cracks in the so-called 'house of horrors' have started to show. The man dubbed the 'Springs Monster' admitted to the High Court in Pretoria that he sexually assaulted his oldest daughter and assaulted one of his sons.

Springs Monster in court_jacanews
Photo: Pieter van der Merwe, JacarandaFM News

The trial of the man and his wife, who can't be named to protect the identities of their five children, started on Monday. 

Together they face 22 charges including attempted murder, rape, sexual assault and assault. 


The woman pleaded not guilty to all the charges, while her estranged husband pleaded guilty to only one.  He admitted to lying to the police about his own identity and the whereabouts of his son, whom the couple reported missing, when questioned by the police. 

This comes after the couple's neighbours alerted the police when the boy ran to them for protection. 

According to the man's legal representative Advocate Aneke van Wyk, he lied because he was afraid of the consequences should the police find out that he assaulted his son, who still had visible bruises.


He has been charged with attempted murder for this incident. Although he admitted to assaulting his son, he maintains it only occurred once and pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and assault.


The state, however, claims the couple repeatedly abused their five children.  Incidents include burning, electrocution, shooting them with gas pistols and tying them up. 

According to the charge sheet, the man raped and sexually abused his daughter more than once after she turned 16.


Van Wyk told the court that her client admitted to touching his daughter inappropriately only once. He claims he was not aware that it was his daughter that he was touching at the time. Van Wyk said her client was told by his wife that their daughter did not belong to him. 


The children's mother, who is currently out on bail, claims that she was innocent and that she was unable to stop her husband from committing the crimes. 

Her legal representative Advocate Harry Prinsloo said that she too was a victim and was scared of her husband.


On Tuesday the court will also try to understand why the couple, amongst others, deprived their children of an education, decent living conditions and healthcare while exposing them to both pornography and drugs.


The matter was postponed following applications by state Advocate Jennifer Cronje that the children not testify in open court.

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