From Dros statement to guilty plea - five must-read stories on rape accused Nicholas Ninow
Dros rape accused Nicholas Ninow on Monday pleaded guilty but the court is not convinced by his plea explanation and has called for a witness to dispute parts of his version of events.
South Africans were introduced to Ninow in September last year when accusations of rape at a Pretoria Dros eatery were levelled against him. Since then, he's been known as the alleged "Dros rapist".
Here are five must-read stories on Ninow's case, from Dros's response to the incident to the outcome of the recent court appearance.
Shortly after allegations of rape against Ninow, Dros released a statement saying they had been in communication with the police and the family of the alleged victim to ensure she receives the help she needs.
"We have been in contact with the parents of the child to convey our sympathy and offered our assistance in any form that would be reasonably required in a matter of this nature."
Non-profit organisation Women and Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA) early this year said four specialists consisting of three psychiatrists and one psychologist would determine if Ninow was mentally fit to stand trial. This was before his court appearance in February 8.
The then 20-year-old had been in custody since September 2018.
In April this year the department of correctional services confirmed that Ninow had been taken to an external health facility after he told officials he was not feeling well. This was met with dismay by different structures in the community, such as the Not In My name movement which claimed that Ninow had overdosed on drugs.
The department's spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo refuted these claims, saying the movement had not inquired about the cause of Ninow's admission to a health facility.
Chilling details during plea
On Monday, Ninow pleaded guilty to raping the seven-year-old girl. He told the court that he had been in the women's cubicle when the girl pushed the door and said she needed to urinate.
He said he put the girl on the toilet, inserted his penis in her mouth and penetrated her vagina with his finger.
"I realised what I was doing was wrong and I immediately stopped," he said. Ninow also told the court that he had been in possession of and under the influence of drugs during the incident.
Dros employee's testimony
An employee at the restaurant told the Pretoria high court on Monday how Ninow was caught half-naked inside a toilet cubicle with the seven-year-old girl. The child's mother asked her if she had seen the girl before they tried to push open the cubicle door.
"She asked me if I had not seen the child and I said I did not. She then asked me if there was someone in the toilet cubicle and I said yes. We pushed the door harder and it eventually slightly opened. We then saw there was a man inside and that person was the accused [Ninow]."
The witness, who asked not to be named, said when they suspected what had happened she shouted and asked for doors in the restaurant to be closed.