When the woman's husband stopped beating her up and raping her she thought he had finally come to his senses, but he had decided to start sexually abusing their teenage daughter instead - and forcing their son to watch.
Then the child could not take the abuse any longer - and the father is now behind bars. The 44-year-old woman told Daily Sun that for 20 terrible years, her husband would pull her out of bed at night, rip her clothes off, beat her with a sjambok until she bled and then he would rape her in front of the children.
Seven children were born out of this emotional, physical and sexual hell - and when her husband stopped terrorising her she was grateful and relieved that she could rest. She then found out that the man had taken to raping their 14-year-old daughter, insisting that her 12-year-old brother should watch. Now the young girl has managed to get her father arrested and her mother has been liberated from 20 years of abuse.
"I was a prisoner in my own home for the past 20 years. I was threatened with death if I spoke to my relatives. He would not allow me to attend relatives' funerals or any other ceremony. At home he would take off my clothes and beat me up in front of the children. He had a spear he kept under his pillow, and would tell me over and over that soon he would use it to stab me to death."
But the brave teenager couldn't tolerate the abuse any longer. In August, he was taken into custody and charges were laid.
She said: "My dad told me he would end my life if I told anyone what he was doing to me. But I knew it was wrong because they taught us at school about this. I told my neighbours, who called the cops."
Shortly after the father's arrest, their 12-year-old son was accused of raping the nine-year-old neighbour's girl. He had been released into the custody of his mother.
"I believe he learnt to do this from his father. But thanks to my daughter, I am now free to walk outside and sleep peacefully without fear," said the sad mother.
Police spokesman Colonel Leonard Hlathi said the man last appeared in court on 22 November and was denied bail. "He remains behind bars, awaiting his trial," he said.
Social Services spokesman Ronnie Masilela said they have already begun giving the entire family counselling.