Following the barrage of reactions from a cross section of South Africans over the alleged rape situation that occured in Dros restuarant, the accused Nicholas Ninow is off for a psychiatric evaluation at Weskoppies after the presiding magistrate in the Dros rape case referred him to the mental hospital on Thursday.
Court has adjourned for the next few weeks, as three separate health professionals are now tasked with assessing the defendant and deciding if he’s fit enough to stand trial. His transfer from prison to the hospital will be completed once a bed is made available at the facility.
Ninow returns to the dock on Tuesday 27 November. It’s likely that the trial could be moved from the Silverton Family Court to the Pretoria High Court by the end of the month, too.
Defence lawyer Riaan du Plessis argued that Ninow had an extensive background of mental health issues, citing that he’d been treated for bipolar disorder and substance abuse in the past. In fact, the advocate mentioned that his condition had been worsened by the substance abuse, which he began at age 13.
Given the severity of the crime, we’ve already seen an outcry on social media about tying substance abuse in with child abuse. Some feel that equating the two is extremely unfair.
Whatever Ninow’s issues are, his crime – which he has all but confirmed he carried out – is grotesque, and it needs to be met with a forceful, equitable punishment.With anger, of course.