Nicholas Ninow in court at the start of proceedings. Picture: Goitsemang Tlhabye
Pretoria - Nicholas Ninow is behind bars, serving a life sentence for the rape of a 7-year-old girl in a family restaurant in Pretoria just over a year ago.

The sentence handed down by Judge Papi Masopa was widely welcomed, especially at a time of heightened awareness of gender-based violence in South Africa.

The court heard of Ninow’s dysfunctional childhood in which his own mother introduced him to drugs when he was in his early teens, and how he blamed his crime on substance abuse. He admitted that even after his arrest, he had access to drugs in the Kgosi Mampuru prison where he was held.

It is time, said #NotInMyName’s chairperson Siyabulela Jentile, to look at rampant substance abuse in society, including in prison, which he plans to take up with the Department of Justice and Correctional Services.

Members of the organisation went to the Dros restaurant in Silverton where the crime took place.

Jentile said the organisation went to ensure that undertakings given by the establishment had been adhered to. This included staff counselling and security upgrades, especially in the children’s play area. He said they were satisfied.

Uzwelithini Mathebula, the owner, said he wanted the public to know he had gone above and beyond what was required to make the restaurant safe, including staff training and installing additional cameras.

Ninow was handed an effective life sentence for rape, five years for illegal possession of drugs and five years for obstruction of justice.

Pretoria News