The woman who found love with the Springs Monster
He’s been jailed for 35 years for abusing his children but that doesn’t seem to bother the new woman in his life
THE first time she was spotted in court she was the source of much speculation, curiosity – and revulsion. Who was this mystery woman who so tenderly adjusted the tie of a man accused of such heinous crimes? The woman who kissed him in the dock, held his hand during breaks in proceedings and whispered words of encouragement in his ear? Who was she – and how could she? This, after all, was the Springs Monster, a man who’d raped his eldest daughter when she was 16, tried to kill his eldest son when he was 11, and tortured and abused his other three children too.
In fact, the things this man had done in the so-called house of horrors in Springs on Gauteng’s East Rand were so appalling that, on the day of these romantic flourishes in court, Judge Eben Jordaan sentenced him to 67 years behind bars.
His various jail terms – for rape, attempted murder, child neglect, possession of drugs, obstruction of justice and obstructing the police – are to be served concurrently, which means he’ll be in jail effectively for 35 years. He will be eligible for parole only after 30 years – in 2048, which feels like a lifetime for the woman who says she loves him.
She was present in court too when the judge called the man – who may not be named to protect the identity of his children – a psychopath and a sadist. And she sat right behind him as a statement from his son was read out in which he said he would’ve killed his father if it had been within his power to do so.
It was thanks to this boy that his father’s atrocious deeds became public. In 2014 he managed to escape the house, bruised and with blackened eyes, to seek help. The police were alerted and the whole sordid tale unravelled.
In his chilling statement, the boy, now 15, said, “I hate everything about him. He never loved me and I don’t want to be his son. Someone once said I looked like him. It made me very angry. If I could, I would’ve killed him myself. Sometimes I wonder why I’m still alive.”
YET to the woman who’s fallen for him, he’s no monster. “He’s told me he has remorse about the terrible things he did,” she says. “I care about him a lot. He makes me feel good.” She’s speaking to us in the consulting rooms of the West Rand doctor’s rooms where she works as a receptionist.
In between she attends to patients and answers the phone, dashing out for a smoke when there’s a lull in her duties.
No, she didn’t follow coverage of the trial, she tells us. And she first went to court to support her love two days before he was sentenced on 3 October.
It was the first time since they’d became friendly nine months ago that they’d kissed, hugged and held hands. Now she doesn’t know when they’ll be able to touch each other again.
She doesn’t want to her identity made public or say too much about her personal life because she has two toddlers to protect, the forty-something woman says. She adds she’s estranged from her husband and he’s been giving her “a hard time” since the sentencing, when she was seen on the news.
Her first encounter with the Springs Monster was a coincidence, she tells us, her roughly chopped dark fringe hanging over her eyes.
About nine months ago she accompanied a friend to Kgosi Mampuru II Prison in Pretoria to visit another inmate. Authorities also signed out the inmate’s friend and fellow prisoner for a visit. It was the Springs man. Before the meeting she’d heard about the things he’d done to his wife and children but she hadn’t fol-
lowed the case in much detail.
“We just clicked from the start,” she says. “He told me why he was in jail. That was when I realised I was looking into the eyes of the so-called Springs Monster. I was shocked.”
But despite her initial shock they quickly became friends and he began calling her from the prison phone. She usually visited him every second week in Pretoria. Her cellphone rings. It’s him. “Hello, bokkie,” she says, then turns away to conduct the rest of the conversation in private.
When the call is over she’s tearful. An application for leave to appeal against his sentence was turned down, she says.
“I spend a lot of time thinking about what came out in court. Especially about the fact the judge said he’s a psychopath and a sadist.
“That hurts because it’s not the man I’ve come to know.”
SHE doesn’t know if she’ll be able to wait for him for 30 years. Neither of them expected such a tough sentence. The convicted man tells us by phone he’s shattered. “Now that I’ve met someone who really loves me and wants to be with me, this has happened. Now I can’t be with her because I’m sitting inside. I love her so much, but I’ll never be able to be with her.”
The woman grows quiet and takes a drag of her cigarette.
“People can criticise me if they wish, but that’s how things are,” she says.
“Put him with people who respect, appreciate and love him, and he’s another person.” S
S The ex-wife of the Springs Monster was sentenced to five years in jail, suspended
‘He’s told me he has remorse about the terrible things he did’
for five years. The judge found she was an abused woman and a victim of her circumstances. In 2016 she divorced her husband and she’s since become engaged to his cousin.