'No parent should see what I witnessed' - mother of Dros rape victim
WARNING: This story contains graphic details
"No parent should ever see what I witnessed."
These are the words of the woman whose child was raped, allegedly by Nicholas Ninow.
The victim's mother was testifying through closed circuit television in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday. She told the court that she had seen Ninow use her daughter's clothes to clean his penis.
Ninow has admitted to raping the little girl in the women's bathroom at the Dros restaurant in Silverton, Pretoria, on September 22, 2018.
In his plea explanation he said that he had forced his penis into her mouth and inserted his fingers into her vagina.
The mother testified that, after she discovered that her daughter was not at the children's play area, she and the child minder had gone to look for her daughter.
"Myself and the child minder went to the toilets, then we checked in the other toilet, the one with the door opened, there was no one," she testified.
“The second one, 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.'"
'He was cleaning his penis'
She testified that Ninow came out of the toilet and ran to the men's bathroom. She retrieved her child and handed her over to someone before running back to confront Ninow.
"Then I found him cleaning himself with my child's clothes. He was cleaning [his] penis."
The mother testified that Ninow was completely naked and that her daughter was not wearing her tights or her underwear.
She added that Ninow had her daughter's tights and underwear. She also witnessed how Ninow flushed her underwear down the toilet.
"I asked him why he flushed my child's clothes. He never responded," she said.
The mother, whose voice trembled at times during her testimony, said she had been attending counselling with her daughter to try and heal.
"There is no parent who should see what I have witnessed. What I have seen has made me very emotional."
Victim commended for her bravery in testifying
Earlier on Wednesday, the victim testified in camera. The court ordered that her testimony may not be published, along with her identity.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Louw Mjonondwane commended the victim for her evidence.
"We commend her bravery. She did a wonderful job in rebutting Ninow's plea explanation," Louw Mjonondwane said.
One of the main material disputes in the matters is that, in his plea explanation, Ninow said that he was in the bathroom when the victim knocked on the door, asking to urinate.
He then says that he let her in, took her pants off, put her on the toilet and then, acting impulsively, raped her.
However, the State has asserted that Ninow followed the victim to the bathroom where he raped her.