A Krugersdorp clinical psychologist will have to explain in writing when his report about the mental state of a Springs mother, who is on trial with her husband for allegedly severely abusing and neglecting their five children, will be ready.
The couple’s trial was previously postponed for clinical psychologist Dr Franco Visser to complete his report but the mother’s advocate, Harry Prinsloo, yesterday told the court Visser was not returning his calls and messages.
He said the Legal Aid Board had in February appointed Visser, who initially undertook to have his report ready by the end of April, but eventually only consulted his client last week.
The Legal Aid Board had to fetch the mother from Brakpan and transport her to Krugersdorp for the consultations.
Prinsloo said since then, his calls and messages to find out when the report would be ready remained unanswered. Judge Eben Jordaan ordered Visser to confirm in writing when his report would be ready and when he would be available to testify.
The father’s advocate, Anneke van Wyk, objected to the delay, saying her client, who was in custody, was being prejudiced because he did not have a speedy trial.
The couple in May 2016 pleaded not guilty to 21 charges, including attempting to murder their 11-year-old son, child abuse and neglect, and dealing in drugs from their large double-storey house in Springs, which became known as the “House of Horrors”.
The father also denied raping and sexually molesting his eldest daughter for years.
The abuse came to light when their 11-year-old son ran to neighbours for help, but the father allegedly went to fetch him and severely assaulted him before hiding him with family in the Free State.
Shocking evidence was presented in the trial of the severe torture the two eldest children had to endure and the filthy state of their house, where rats ran around freely and the children had to survive on junk food because the mother almost never cooked.
The mother testified how her husband had assaulted their eldest son almost every day, using a shock stick, blow torch, sjambok and knobkerrie.
The trial was provisionally postponed until next week.