The Gauteng Department of Social Development has welcomed the court judgment on the “Springs Monster couple”, saying it will help deter the violent abuse of innocent and vulnerable children.
The couple from Springs, Ekurhuleni, appeared in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Thursday, where they were found guilty on all charges including rape, attempted murder, defeating the ends of justice and obstruction of justice.
They were also found guilty on five counts of child abuse and five counts of child neglect.
The couple's five children were rescued in 2014 when they were aged between three and 16.
The father, who faced 22 charges, was found guilty of abusing their five children and raping his eldest daughter at the age of 16 years. He was also found guilty of the attempted murder of his 11-year-old son, using and dealing in drugs.
The mother, who faced 20 charges, was found guilty of five counts of child neglect, defeating the ends of justice, obstruction of justice and being in possession of drugs.
The couple was also found in possession of explosives in what was dubbed the ‘house of horror’.
The department expressed relief for the children who endured horrific acts of injustice from the people who were meant to protect them.
The department has called for the harshest sentence in this case to serve as a deterrent.
Gauteng Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza said the department was happy that the court’s judgment now paves the way for the five children to put their ugly past behind them, and focus on building a better future for themselves.
“Our Springs office, in partnership with Springs Child Welfare, have ensured that they are placed in foster care and will continue to support them to rebuild their shattered lives,” Mayathula-Khoza said.
The MEC said the department, as the custodian of children in the province -- as per the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 -- remains concerned about the alarming rate of abuse of children in the province.
“… We will not tolerate any kind of abuse of children. We are steadfast in our zero-tolerance to anyone who abuses children in this horrendous manner,” she said.
The father will remain in custody pending sentencing, while the mother's bail has been extended. – SAnews.gov.za