London, Nov 25 : A 68-year-old man in Johannesburg is facing prosecution for keeping his 8-year-old son hidden from friends and visitors in a garage for four years.
The boy, who was born to the former Austrian airline pilot's black domestic worker, was kept in torn and tattered clothes.
Their identities have not been revealed, reports the Scotsman.
The child, currently, is undergoing assessment in the children's psychiatric ward of a Johannesburg hospital.
The horror story came to the surface when, two weeks ago, the father collapsed and called an emergency number for an ambulance.
Paramedics had to smash down the iron front gate of the heavily fortified house in the upmarket suburb of Olivedale.
They did not meet the boy nor hear of him then. However, five days later, on 17 November, with the father hospitalised, a computer salesman walked past the house and saw the boy lying on his stomach pushing two five cents coins through a small gap in the wall and asking if some food could be bought.
It was then that the man raised the alarm and Johannesburg's Child Welfare Society arrived to find the boy running wildly around the unkempt garden in filthy clothes.
In a front-page report, the Johannesburg Star, said a neighbour, named only as Clint, arrived and tried to calm the boy down. But the terrified boy kept shouting at the strangers to get off the property while saying: "I must hide, must hide."
Clint and his wife Ashleigh took the boy into their own home for one night while the child welfare workers found somewhere for him to be taken permanently.
"All he could talk about was World War Two, Pearl Harbour and the Nazis. He was clearly not stupid, but the way he was brought up he thinks the war is still going on," Clint said.
A rep for the hospital where the child is being taken care of said he is "sick" but is talking.
The father's condition was described as "extremely frail". Nevertheless, police have opened a criminal case against him.