A South African man has been arrested for allegedly holding captive and abusing his wife and five children for more
than a decade, according to local media.

The Afrikaans-language newspaper Beeld reported on Tuesday the children - who were tortured with an electric cable and blowtorch - never left the house and have never been to school.

The paper claimed the allegedly kept his wife as a sex slave. 

Police confirmed they detained the 36-year-old on Friday for the suspected abuse of five children aged between two and 16 years.

"The charges against him are attempted murder and assault," Lungelo Dlamini, police spokesman, told AFP.

"He appeared in court yesterday but he's going to appear again tomorrow to apply for bail.

"He allegedly abused five of his kids."

Beeld quoted a neighbour as saying: "We didn't know the children existed. I didn't know that for years we've been living next to a monster."

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies