Dros rape trial enters final stages - what we know so far
WARNING: This story contains graphic details
The trial of Nicholas Ninow, the man who admitted raping a 7-year-old girl in the bathroom of a Dros establishment in Pretoria last year, enters its final leg on Thursday before the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria gives its judgment.
This comes after the State and defence closed their cases on Wednesday – the State after calling six witnesses and the defence after calling none.
On Monday, Ninow pleaded guilty to raping the child.
But he is being tried because the State has rejected the plea on the basis that aspects of his story do not align with the evidence the State has.
In his plea explanation, he pleaded guilty to two counts of rape, one count of defeating the ends of justice and one count of possession of an illegal substance, which tested positive for a drug known as CAT.
He also pleaded not guilty to the assault of two Dros employees. The State withdrew a charge of kidnapping.
Ninow claimed he was in the women's bathroom snorting CAT, when the victim entered, wanting to urinate.
He then pulled down her pants and put her on the toilet, before forcing his penis into her mouth and inserting his fingers into her vagina.
But it is the State's case that Ninow followed the victim to the bathroom and that he had the intention of raping her.
The State's six witnesses were two waitresses, including one who served Ninow on the day, Johan Fourie, who had a drink with Ninow at the restaurant that day, the childminder who looked after the children at the restaurant, the victim and the victim's mother.
On Wednesday morning, the court heard that the mother saw Ninow use her daughter's clothes to clean his penis.
"I pushed the door, called out the child's name. Then she called me back saying, 'mommy help me'. Then the person that was behind the door said: 'You are disturbing me, what is it that you want?'" the mother testified.
She added that she found Ninow completely naked and that her daughter was not wearing her tights or her underwear.
"There is no parent who should see what I have witnessed. What I have seen has made me very emotional," she told the court.
Ninow's Legal Aid attorney Herman Alberts closed the defence's case without calling any witnesses.
Ninow is expected to return to the high court on Thursday where the State and defence are expected to present their closing arguments.
The court will then give its verdict.
Since the start of the trial, Ninow's grandmother and mother have been present at court.
In addition, members of the ANC Women's League, the EFF, activist group #Notinmyname and other organisations have also attended the proceedings.