ANC ‘worried’ about white magistrate in Dros rape case

ANC Tshwane caucus spokesperson Lesego Makhubela outside court. Picture: Jonisayi Maromo/ANA

ANC Tshwane caucus spokesperson Lesego Makhubela outside court. Picture: Jonisayi Maromo/ANA

On Wednesday, presiding magistrate Ignatius du Preez postponed the case to January 15.

The Tshwane regional African National Congress on Wednesday said it was “worried about a number of developments” in the rape case in which Nicholas Ninow is accused of raping a seven-year-old girl at the Dros restaurant.

Tshwane caucus spokesperson Lesego Makhubela said: “For us, justice postponed is justice denied. We are also worried about a number of developments (regarding the matter). They have changed the judge (magistrate) and they have now put a white judge. We don’t understand why it would take so long… at the last appearance, this man was said to undergo mental observation or psychiatric evaluation. It’s been almost a month.

“Today we arrive in court and we’re told that they could not secure a bed for him. There are many other mental institutions that they could have utilised to be able to evaluate this particular person (Ninow). So we are not happy with what is happening because it seems as if our justice system is technically postponing this thing indefinitely.”

The court case was previously presided over by magistrate Mali Mokoena. At Ninow’s last appearance at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court, on November 2, stand-in magistrate Thandi Theledi presided over the matter as Mokoena was not present.

On Wednesday, presiding magistrate Ignatius du Preez postponed the case to January 15, but with a recorded provision that the matter return to court sooner if a bed becomes available at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital in Pretoria West.

Du Preez said he fully understood the public interest around the matter and steps would be taken to ensure all interested parties are notified if the matter was to return to court before January 15.

Ninow faces charges of rape, possession of drugs, assault with intent to do bodily harm and intimidation.

He allegedly followed the little girl from the Dros restaurant’s play area to the toilets where he allegedly raped her. The girl’s mother allegedly caught him in the act after she went looking for her child.

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