News24 Wire
Wire Service
3 minute read
16 Sep 2019
6:03 pm

‘There was nothing racial about’ Nicholas Ninow’s sentencing delay – Not In My Name

News24 Wire

'The judge is black, for goodness sake,' said Themba Masango following accusations that the delay is due to the race of the perpetrator.

Nicholas Ninow leaves the dock at the North Gauteng High Court, 16 September 2019, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Cheers for Nicholas Ninow’s conviction for raping a seven year-old girl in the bathroom of a Dros restaurant in Pretoria, soon turned to frustration as the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria postponed the matter for sentencing proceedings.

A jam-packed gallery applauded and cheered as Judge Mokhine Mosopa found Ninow guilty of rape, possession of an illegal substance and defeating the ends of justice on Monday.

The elation turned to disappointment and anger as the matter was postponed by a month for sentencing.

State prosecutor Dorah Ngobeni told the court that a postponement was necessary to obtain the victim impact report and probation report, needed for sentencing proceedings.

Gasps came from the gallery as Mosopa postponed the matter to October 16 and 17.

Some jeered as the court was adjourned, with members of the gallery openly venting their frustrations in the delay.

‘We are angry’

ANC Women’s League spokesperson Thoko Xasa told media that they were angry and disappointed because sentencing had not followed straight after judgment was handed down.

“We are so disappointed today, we are angry, the system continues to fail us,” Xasa said.

“When it comes to these cases, the prolonging of a whole case hearing is at times diminishing the whole plight of what our children and women are going through, and by that time the perpetrator is having it nice, we don’t even know where he is going to be.

“We can see the system is not even making him tell us why he raped her,” she added.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Louw Mjonondwane explained that the defence’s request for a postponement had been accepted.

“We are mindful of the fact that this court needs to uphold the rights of the accused person. The accused is in his right to ask for a postponement to prepare pre-sentencing reports for mitigation of sentencing,” Louw Mjonondwane said.

Themba Masango from lobby group Not in my Name welcomed the judgment and said that their members were calling for nothing less than a life sentence.

‘The judge is black, for goodness sake’

“We are elated that we have come to this point that we can actually call Nicholas Ninow a convicted rapist. We are also glad that the court rejected his version of events,” Masango said.

Masango condemned the behaviour of people in the gallery who had an issue with the postponement.

Some members of the gallery could be heard shouting that Ninow had not been sentenced immediately because he was white.

“What we are really underwhelmed by is our fellow supporters in the gallery who, perhaps maybe, through a lack of understanding that today was set aside for the judgment and not the sentencing,” Masango said.

“There was nothing racial about today’s issue. The judge is black, for goodness sake. The prosecutor is black, for goodness sake. Separating the different issues is very important.”

News24 previously reported that Mosopa had rejected Ninow’s version that he was in the bathroom first, doing drugs, when the victim entered and asked to urinate.

Mosopa found that Ninow had stalked the victim, followed her into the bathroom and then raped her, making his actions premeditated and not impulsive as he had said in his plea explanation.

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