Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dad charged with keeping family captive, torturing them for up to 16 years (South Africa)


Father charged with a decade of torture

The Australian
May 29, 2014 12:00AM

A South African businessman has been ­accused of keeping his family captive and abusing them for more than a decade.

His five children, aged between two and 16, were allegedly tortured with electric cables and burned with a blow torch. The man’s wife told police her husband, 36, also regularly stripped her naked, then handcuffed and assaulted her.

Police told a court east of ­Johannesburg yesterday a doctor’s report showed the 16-year-old daughter was sexually active, but had never left the house.

Police are investigating claims that the man, described as a successful Afrikaans businessman, kept his family captive for as many as 16 years.

The court ordered the man not be named to protect the children.

Neighbours in the mining town of Springs, east of Johannesburg, told Beeld newspaper they never knew the well-dressed husband and wife had children.

The neighbours called the police after the man’s 11-year-old son escaped last week.

The accused took his son back from the neighbours, held his head under water in his swimming pool, beat him and then hid the wounded boy in the ceiling when police arrived, according to police investigator Rudi Jansen.

Police took four children from the house, but the accused said the 11-year old had run away. He then secretly took the boy to relatives in a neighbouring province.

After a few days, the wife broke down and told authorities where the child was, and about years of abuse at her husband’s hands. The children are being kept in a safe place, separate from their mother, while police investigate charges against her.

The court roll showed charges of assault and child abuse against the man, but police said charges of attempted murder would follow.

The man was remanded in custody until next Wednesday.