Pretoria - South Africa and the world will within the next two weeks know what exactly happened in the bathrooms of the Dros restaurant in Silverton, east of Pretoria, where Nicholas Ninow is alleged to have raped a 7-year-old girl.
The rape trial of Ninow was expected to start this morning in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria.
Ninow is accused of raping the girl in the bathroom of the Dros restaurant in Silverton, east of Pretoria, in September last year. The trial has been set for several days, ending on September 20.
Ninow faces charges of rape, kidnapping, assault, possession of drugs and obstructing the administration of justice. It is alleged that he followed the girl from the restaurant’s play area to the toilets where he raped her. The girl’s mother allegedly caught him in the act after she went looking for her child.
Earlier this year, the accused underwent a 30-day psychiatric evaluation at the Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital where he was evaluated by four specialists. This was after his legal representative Riaan du Plessis indicated Ninow had a history of mental illness and had battled with drug abuse since he was 14. Subsequent to the evaluation, he was declared fit to stand trial.
Women and Men Against Child Abuse, one of the many organisations that will be present in court, has called for a harsh sentence.
Founding director Miranda Jordan said they were positive the process would be expedient since the courts have set aside two weeks for the trial.
Jordan said they hoped to see the heaviest sentence possible, handed down for the “despicable” transgression against the young child.
“We trust that the case will serve to warn other potential abusers against laying hands on our children, and hope for swift justice for the life-changing trauma this girl was subjected to. We would like to commend the court and prosecutor Sanet Jacobson for prioritising this case, but we are also saddened and disappointed that other cases similar to this drag through our court systems for years.”
In addition, Jordan said: “This case is an example of how child abuse should be fast-tracked by the justice system and not just for its high profile, but because there is a serious need to deliver justice for victims and minimise the secondary abuse that a protracted judicial process is tantamount to,” she said.
The #NotInMyName movement is also expected to be outside the court. “The accused is not insane. He should thus face the full might of the law. We call on the court to set an example for all the perpetrators,” spokesperson Mo Senne said.
September 23, 2018: A 7-year-old girl is reportedly raped at Dros restaurant in Silverton.
September 27, 2018: A video goes viral showing Nicholas Ninow’s naked and bloody body.
October 2, 2018: The NPA lifts reporting restrictions on the case, effectively allowing the media to name Ninow.
November 1, 2018: Ninow is referred to Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital.
November 28, 2018: Unable to find a bed for Ninow at Weskoppies, the case is delayed until the new year.
February 8, 2019: Ninow is declared fit to stand trial.
March 5, 2019: Charges against Ninow disclosed. He is charged with rape, kidnapping, assault, drug possession and the obstruction of justice.