South African man charged with abusing captive family for years

A South African man accused of abusing his five children while allegedly keeping them captive for more than a decade appeared briefly in a court east of Johannesburg on Wednesday.

Springs (South Africa): A South African man accused of abusing his five children while allegedly keeping them captive for more than a decade appeared briefly in a court east of Johannesburg on Wednesday.

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 her husband also regularly stripped her naked, 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.
They are probing allegations that the man, described as a successful Afrikaans businessman, kept his family captive for as many as 16 years, Jansen said.

Afrikaans-language newspaper Beeld reported the children never left the house and had never been to school.

The court ordered that the man -- heavy-set and with hair shaved short -- should not be named so as to protect the children.

Outside the court a small number of protesters said the man should be refused bail.

"He must go to jail! You pig!" read the words in Afrikaans on one poster.
"They must bring him to us. We`ll know what to do with him," a protester told journalists.

"You can`t believe that things like this happen today right under our noses," said another bystander.

People living on the man`s property in the mining town of Springs, east of Johannesburg, told AFP they never knew he had five children.

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, said 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.

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