Nicholas Ninow, convicted of raping a seven year old girl in the bathroom at a Dros restaurant in Silverton in Pretoria last September, has been sentenced to life in prison.
He was also sentenced to five years for the use of drugs and another five years for defeating the ends of justice.
The gallery in the North Gauteng High Court erupted in song and dance shortly after the sentence was handed down.
Ninow admitted to raping the little girl and blamed his actions on his drug addiction. After a week-long trial in September this year, Judge Mokhine Mosopa found Ninow guilty of rape, possession of an illegal substance and defeating the ends of justice.
During his sentencing proceedings this week, he admitted that he had continued to make use of drugs since his arrest for the rape of the girl in the female bathroom cubicle of the restaurant.
Ninow said the drugs had made him angry and full of hatred and that he was acting on impulse alone on the day of the rape.
The court said Ninow did not show remorse for his actions.
President Cyril Ramaphosa last month announced an emergency plan to deal with the violence against women and children in the country.
He said substantial additional funding would available for a comprehensive package of interventions to make an immediate and lasting difference.
“Cabinet has resolved to direct R1.1 billion in additional funding in this financial year to the comprehensive response to gender-based violence. It is government’s intention that the funds appropriated for this programme will be raised from within the current budget allocation and will not require additional borrowing,” the President said, during a Joint Sitting of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces.
Among other things, government will direct resources to improve the functioning of Sexual Offences Courts, Thuthuzela Care Centres, and the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Investigation Units of the South African Police Service (SAPS).
He said government will propose to Parliament the necessary legislative changes to ensure that all crimes against women and children attract harsher minimum sentences. “We need to engage with the Judiciary on the role it can play in supporting the national effort to end gender-based violence,” the President said.
He affirmed the position that the State should oppose bail for suspects charged with the rape and murder of women and children.
The President also said those who are found guilty of such crimes should not be eligible for parole.
“A life sentence must mean just that – life in prison. We are also going to give urgent attention to strengthening programmes to rehabilitate offenders and youth at risk,” he said at the time.