Fury over SABC interview with Nicholas Ninow's mom
Johannesburg - A SABC interview with the mother of child rapist Nicholas Ninow has taken an ugly turn after social media users slammed the broadcaster as "insensitive" and accused them of giving Ninow's family a platform to get public sympathy.
The drama began on Sunday afternoon when SABC news anchor Chriselda Lewis shared a snippet of an exclusive interview she had conducted with Chantal Ninow following her son's conviction.
Ninow told the North Gauteng High Court during mitigation of sentencing that he was introduced to hard drugs at the age of 13 by his mother.
In the clip, a tearful Chantal can be seen denying her son was a rapist but had instead "made a mistake".
She also went on to apologise to Ninow's eight-year-old victim as well as her family for the ordeal.
"I'm sorry to that little girl's parents and that little girl. I really am sorry and if it was my child I would be so angry. And I know sorry doesn't cut it but there's nothing else I can say," an emotional Chantal said.
[EXCLUSIVE] Just 10 days after Dros child rapist #NicholasNinow was sentenced to life imprisonment, his mother has spoken exclusively to me.— Chriselda Lewis ™️ (@Chriseldalewis) October 27, 2019
Parts of the interview coming up on #SABCNEWS channel 404 from a little after 5pm.
'I'm sorry to the little girl and her family' pic.twitter.com/PD6WMFiyv8
Lewis's post garnered massive reaction from social media users, with many slamming the interview as "insensitive" and questioning whether it was necessary to do it and air it.
Users also slammed the journalist and broadcaster for giving the family a "platform" to garner sympathy from the public while ignoring the victim's pain.
There was absolutely no need for this interview.— Lukhanyo Vangqa (@LukhanyoV) October 27, 2019
@Chriseldalewis this is actually infuriating. We know this was a big story however I think it’s very inappropriate to give this family a platform to try & gain sympathy from society. She says her son is not a rapist but yet is saying to the girls’ family. What is she sorry then?— Ofentse (@ComradeSmiles) October 27, 2019
Lewis tried explaining the rationale behind the interview, that Chantal was behind Ninow's drug addiction, but tweeps were having none of that, calling for the SABC to be reported to the Broadcast Complaints Commission of SA (BCCSA) for airing the interview.
Honourable Chirwa, order.#NicholasNinow blamed drugs.— Chriselda Lewis ™️ (@Chriseldalewis) October 27, 2019
He accused his mother of getting him hooked, from the first time he did hard drugs with her.
We are not legitimizing.
We simply went to his mother to ask her why she was a bad mother. How do you do drugs with your child? https://t.co/LXOqy2Nnhp
Earlier this month, Ninow was sentenced to life behind bars for rape and five years for drug possession.
Handing down the sentence, Judge Mokhine Mosopa said he took into account the fact that Ninow is a young adult, has an infant child of his own and that there was a good chance that he could be rehabilitated. He said that Ninow had failed to prove that he was genuinely remorseful.
See reactions to the interview:
This was a bad call. You showed his baby pictures and his mother crying as if their family are the victims in all this. It's a bad editorial decision to humanise this criminal.— Dr. Sithembile Mbete (@sthembete) October 27, 2019
Why is @SABCNewsOnline humanizing Nicolas Ninow???? He’s a rapist. His mom goes to say “He made a mistake”😶. He’s a rapist. He raped a CHILD. Why aren’t we telling the story of how HER family is finding healing????— Yoli✨ (@YolzYako) October 27, 2019
I’m so confused.
Insensitive of the public broadcaster, that family don't want this ,this is white privilege on fleek and sabc is an enabler 💔💔💔💔 https://t.co/FND4IklBmh— Major General (@EliasChinemore) October 27, 2019