Nicholas Ninow (21) has appeared in the Pretoria High Court for his pre-sentencing, where the court also heard the testimony of the little girl he stands accused of raping.
The case caught media attention in 2018, when it was alleged that Ninow had raped a seven-year-old girl in the bathroom of a Dros restuarant in Silverton, Pretoria on September 22. The little girl, now eight years old, was cross-examined in private for roughly an hour on what she could recall about that dreadful afternoon.
Her testimony has not been shared with media or the public. The decision was made by the judge after the State applied for her testimonial not be shown to an audience.
Her mother also took to the stand, recalling every detail about how she discovered her daughter in Dros’ ladies restroom. The little girl was locked in one of the three cubicles with Ninow. According to SABC journalist Leila Magnus, the little girl wore a pair of maroon leggings, a blue tutu with polka dots, a blue t-shirt and a pair of maroon sneakers.
Her mother had signed her into the kiddies corner at the restaurant, and could not find her when she went to check on her. The child-minder said that the little girl was in the bathroom, but was not there when her mother searched and called out for her. Her mother returned to the bathroom a second time with the child-minder in tow, and this was when she heard her daughter call for help.
Ninow reportedly shouted “You are disturbing me!” as the mother and child-minder attempted to push the cubicle door open, and the woman recalls finding her daughter in only the tutu and t-shirt.
“I handed my child to a lady and went to the men’s toilet and I [found] him cleaning himself with the child’s clothes – he was cleaning his penis with the child’s panty,” she said. There is no parent that should see what I saw, Emotionally I am not okay with what I witnessed.”
She also recalled seeing Ninow flush her daughter’s underwear down the toilet.
A Dros employee, who testified on condition of anonymity, told the court how Ninow switched tables so he could be closer to the kiddies corner.
The court was shown two images of the bloody cubicle, including one showing the little girl’s maroon tights sprawled on the floor, with her blood on the floor as well.
Ninow pleaded guilty to four counts against him in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria earlier this week. He was charged with rape, kidnapping, assault, defeating the ends of justice and possession of an illegal substance.
Both the State and defence will convene in court later this week.