Nicholas Ninow, who is accused of raping a 7-year-old girl at Dros Restaurant, appears at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court.
Nicholas Ninow, the man accused of raping a girl in the toilets of a Dros family restaurant, has been booked into Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital for evaluation.

He appeared briefly in court in Pretoria yesterday. He was clean-shaven and wearing a modern, grey jersey, and with a tattoo visible on his arm - which appears to read Brian.

He did not attempt to hide his face from the gallery as he had done on previous occasions.

Organisations supporting the 7-year-old girl he allegedly raped at the Dros in Silverton in September last year have pleaded with the court not to afford him any preferential treatment “because he is white”.

Ninow was brought into courtroom 16 at the Pretoria’s Magistrate’s Court only after the magistrate was seated.

This was contrary to a previous court order for Ninow to be brought in before the magistrate entered, to afford the media an opportunity to take photographs of Ninow before proceedings started.

Regional ANC caucus leader Lesego Makhubela voiced the party’s disapproval of the constant delays with the case, despite these being linked to the wait for a bed at Weskoppies.

“We’ve been in contact with the family of the girl, and they have told us of the pain of having to come to court for mere postponements.”

“We want to urge the justice system not to give preferential treatment to Ninow on the basis of his colour.”

Themba Masango, secretary-general of the movement against gender-based violence, Not In My Name, conveyed the same wish for the court to exercise fairness with the case and not to forget that a young girl’s life had been changed forever by his alleged crime.

State prosecutor Sanet Jacobson informed the court that a bed at Weskoppies had finally become available for Ninow.

She said Ninow would proceed immediately to start a 30-day mental evaluation, and his case would be managed by a team of three psychiatrists and one psychologist.

During the short proceedings, Ninow stood with his head bowed and did not show emotion.

This after his legal representative, Riaan du Plessis, previously informed the court that there was a need for his client’s mental evaluation to be determined.

Du Plessis said this was important as Ninow had a history of mental problems since being diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2013.

He had also battled with substance abuse since he was 14 years old.

Ninow is due back in court 16 on February 8.