South African allegedly abused family for 16 years

South African allegedly abused family for 16 years

AFRICA - A South African man accused of abusing his five children while keeping them captive appeared before a judge yesterday. The 36-year-old allegedly tortured his children, aged between two and 16, with electric cables and burnt them with a blow torch, police investigator Rudi Jansen told AFP.

The man's wife told police he also regularly stripped her, then handcuffed and assaulted her.

Police said a doctor's report showed the 16-year-old daughter was sexually active, but had never left the house.

Police are probing allegations that the man, described as a successful Afrikaans businessman, kept his family captive for as long as 16 years, Mr Jansen said. To protect the children's identity, the man cannot be named.

Protesters said he should be refused bail.

"He must go to jail! You pig!" read one poster.

"They must bring him to us. We'll know what to do with him," a woman told journalists.

Neighbours in the mining town of Springs, east of Johannesburg, told Beeld newspaper they never knew the well-dressed couple had children. Neighbours called the police after the man's son, 11, escaped last week.

The accused took the boy back, held his head under water in his swimming pool, beat him and then hid him in the ceiling when police arrived, said Mr Jansen.


This article was first published on May 29, 2014.
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