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NPA defends decision to call Dros rape victim (7) to testify

The little girl's testimony sparked a public outcry with many saying she should not be subjected to reliving the incident.

Nicholas Ninow, the man accused of raping a seven-year-old girl in a restaurant bathroom in Pretoria, appears in the Magistrates Court in Pretoria on 5 March 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has on Thursday defended its decision to call the seven-year-old girl raped at a Dros restaurant to testify in the trial.

The little girl's testimony sparked a public outcry with many saying she should not be subjected to reliving the incident.

The girl testified in camera at the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday.

Nicholas Ninow admitted to raping her, but the State has questioned events leading to the incident, including who went to the bathroom first.

Ninow is facing five charges including two counts of rape.

The NPA's Phindi Mjonondwane said: “We are really satisfied with the strides that we have made as the NPA, including our decision to call the minor to come and testify. And we believe that in our arguments, we have made clear the role she has played in this matter and we are grateful to her mom and herself for the role that they have played just to place in perspective the sequence of events.”

At the same time, the State urged the High Court to convict Ninow based on the evidence of his victim.

A witness testified about how Ninow was moving from one table to the next and at one stage even requested a table near the kiddies corner.

State prosecutor Grace Ngobeni said from the evidence presented to the court, it was clear that Ninow was looking for a victim on that day.

“There was no reason for him to move from that table and go and sit at the table next to the kiddies corner. It is my submission that the court should find that the accused had an intention of having sexual intercourse [with a child],” she said.

Ngobeni said Ninow’s version in his plea should not be accepted as he could not explain why he was found naked in the women’s bathroom.

Ninow will know his fate on Monday when judgment is delivered.

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