'You are disturbing me': Nicholas Ninow to Dros victim's mother
"No parent wants to see what I saw," the mother of a seven-year-old girl raped by Nicholas Ninow told the Pretoria high court on Wednesday.
The mother recalled the awful moment she saw her child with a man in the toilet cubicle at the Dros restaurant in September 2018. She said her daughter called out for help while Ninow tried to block the door and started flushing some of the young girl's clothes down the toilet.
The mother's evidence was heard in camera at a venue outside the courtroom where Ninow was sitting, "to prevent her from suffering further trauma", according to prosecutor Dora Ngobeni.
Her young daughter also gave evidence offsite, via CCTV with the help of an intermediary. The media was not allowed to hear what the girl said, in line with a ruling by judge Papi Mosopa.
The victim's mother said she, her daughter and a young boy had arrived at the Dros restaurant in Silverton, Pretoria, around 2.30pm that day. She registered the children at the kiddies' corner.
After a while, she went to look for her daughter. "When I arrived at the kiddies' corner, I asked the childminder where the child was. She told me she was in the bathroom. I went to the bathroom to look for her."
The middle cubicle was closed, she said.
"When I got to the bathroom, I called out her name and there was no response. I then went back to the childminder. We both went back to the bathroom. We checked in the cubicle that was not locked. I pushed the second one and called out her name.
"She said 'mommy, please help me'."
According to the mother, the other person behind the door said: "You are disturbing me, what do you want?"
"That was when we were forcefully pushing the door."
She said when the door opened, Ninow went out and she took her daughter.
Giving a description of what her daughter was wearing that day, the mother said: "She was wearing maroon tights, a blue tutu skirt with small dots and maroon takkies".
When she found her, the child was not wearing the tights and the panties, the mother said.
She said Ninow was completely naked when he got out of the bathroom cubicle.
She said she found Ninow wiping his penis with the child's underwear.
After wiping himself, the mother said Ninow then flushed her daughter's underwear.
"I asked him why he was flushing my child's underwear, he did not answer me."
She said she noticed blood on her daughter's skirt.
"When I picked her up, I realised there was blood on her skirt.
"I never checked where the blood was coming from because she was crying."
Asked what impact the incident had on her, the mother said: "No parent wants to see what I saw. Emotionally, I am not okay".
She said she had been attending counselling sessions for a couple of months and she would continue attending sessions. "We [she and the child] will both continue taking the sessions."
The state closed its case after her testimony.
The court is expected to reconvene after lunch after Ninow's lawyer has conferred with him.