The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is anticipating more delays in the Dros rape case now that accused Nicholas Ninow’s mental status has to be evaluated by four experts before the matter can head to trial.
Ninow briefly appeared in the Pretoria Magistrates Court on Thursday.
He’s accused of raping a seven-year-old girl in the bathroom at the Dros in Silverton in September.
As frustration over delays in the court process mounts among women’s rights activists, the NPA’s Phindi Mjono-Ndwane has called for calm.
“We are likely to again see another postponement on 28 November. However, we wish to reiterate our commitment as the NPA to subject the accused to a trial which will be expedited in any way possible as the NPA.”
The Pretoria Magistrates Court has referred Ninow for psychiatric evaluation.
The State says it’s best that the 20-year-old is referred to Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital for mental observation, a suggestion the defence seconded.
The State says it has been in contact with the hospital, saying a bed should be available for Ninow by 28 November and that he will get admitted as soon that happens.
Defence lawyer Riaan du Plessis says Ninow has a history of mental illness in his family.
The community, including activists, under the banner ‘Not in My Name’, are planning to speak to the prosecutor handling the matter, pleading once more that Ninow not is granted bail.