Nicholas Ninow's mother regrets not helping him overcome drug addiction

28 October 2019 - 09:27 By Nomahlubi Jordaan
Nicholas Ninow's mother, Chantelle (left, in centre of image), and grandmother, Pauline Gericke (blue striped top), at his rape trial.
Nicholas Ninow's mother, Chantelle (left, in centre of image), and grandmother, Pauline Gericke (blue striped top), at his rape trial.
Image: Nomahlubi Jordaan/TimesLIVE

Convicted rapist Nicholas Ninow's mother has told the SABC that she regrets not assisting her son to overcome his drug addiction.

In an interview on Sunday, Chantelle Ninow said she felt some responsibility for her son’s actions.

“I will always carry the guilt to think that my son is in jail. To think that that night I could have done something for him, but I didn’t,” Chantelle said. The broadcaster said she was a recovering drug addict.

LISTEN | Dros rapist says the drugs and alcohol made him do it

Ninow was sentenced to life imprisonment for raping a child at a Silverton, Pretoria, Dros restaurant in September 2018. During the trial, he blamed drugs and alcohol. He said “sober-minded, I would have never done such a thing to anyone, never mind a little child”.

The high court heard that he had been exposed to drugs from the age of 13, allegedly by his mother.

Chantelle apologised to the victim's family during the interview.

" ... He made a mistake and I'm sorry to that little girl's parents and the little girl. I really am sorry.

“If it were my child, I would be so angry. I know sorry doesn't cut it, but there's nothing else I can say.

“I would just like to urge all those young mommies, especially the young ones, that as they get older the gap does close and they are not your friends, they are still your children,” she said.

Twitter users were quick to react to a snippet of the interview posted on the social media platform. Most lashed out at airtime being given to the Ninow family.

“Not just sick, purely vile. I can never respect you again,” said @Busiswaah.

@ComradeSmiles said: “This is actually infuriating. We know this was a big story. However, I think it’s very inappropriate to give this family a platform to try & gain sympathy from society. She says her son is not a rapist but yet is saying [sorry] to the girl's family. What is she sorry for then?”

Rikhotso Tiyani said: “I don’t see which box it ticks out of the list of @SABCNewsOnline objectives/mandate.”

Lukhanyo Vangqa said: “That interview did not in any way assist the public to deal with and to prevent future sexual violence against children. It merely told Ninow’s mitigation side of the story. It was ill-conceived and it was ill-executed. SABC must immediately pull that horrendous interview.”

However, some viewers did want to understand the family. One, Oliver Meth, said: “Ninow blamed his mother for hooking him onto hard drugs and as a consumer of news I want to know (&understand) what kind of mother would do that to their child?”

Many questioned why the victim's family was not contacted by the media. Apart from the need to be extremely sensitive with legal matters involving children, the answer is that the family has declined requests for interviews. 

Convicted Dros rapist Nicholas Ninow was sentenced in the Pretoria high court on October 17 2019. Judge Mokhine Mosopa sentenced Ninow to life in prison for the rape of a seven-year-old child in September 2018.