The wife of the so-called Springs Monster will likely not challenge her conviction after she and her husband were found guilty on more than 16 charges relating to attempted murder, rape, and child abuse in the High Court in Pretoria yesterday.
The 39-year-old businessperson and his wife, 37, faced a total of 22 charges in the four-year trial which detailed years of violent and sexual abuse the father of five inflicted on his children for years.
The case sent shock waves through the country in 2014 after their son escaped the family home in Springs on the East Rand, which came to be known as the House of Horrors after the children were said to have endured years of abuse and neglect.
The woman’s lawyer, Henri Prinsloo, told journalists after the judgment yesterday that she was satisfied with the verdict.
He said he would consult his client on whether she would challenge her three convictions, but added that he didn’t “think so”.
Asked whether he thought his client would serve jail time, Prinsloo replied: “That is for the court to decide …”
The husband was found guilty of raping his then 16-year-old daughter and the attempted murder of his 11-year-old son after he beat him several times with his fists, which he claimed to have done under the influence of drugs.
While the woman was found to have also been subjected to decades of abuse at the hands of her spouse, the couple was also convicted of child negligence, drug possession, as well as obstructing and defeating the ends of justice.
Judge Eben Jordaan found the woman not guilty of attempted murder, child abuse, and drug dealing, charges the man was also convicted of.
The woman appeared sallow and in distress as she listened to the judge’s lengthy judgment in which harrowing details of her children’s ordeal were described, including that they ate nothing but noodles, fries and bread, were living in an unsanitary environment, isolated from the outside world and did not attend school.
Family members on both sides were in attendance.
A pre-sentencing appearance date was set for October 1.