Nicholas Ninow on Monday pleaded guilty to raping a 7-year-old in the bathroom of the Dros restaurant in Silverton, Pretoria last year.
Ninow entered his guilty pleas on the charges of rape, possession of drugs and defeating the ends of justice in the high court in Pretoria. He denied the assault charges.
It's believed that Ninow followed the girl from the restaurant’s play area to the toilets where he raped her. The girl’s mother allegedly caught him in the act after she went looking for her child.
On Wednesday, the 22-year-old entered the courtroom, sat down, lowered his head into his hands, and avoided contact with journalists who tried to photograph his face.
He wore blue jeans, matched with a blue and grey sweater. He sat quietly and wiped tears which slowly flowed down his cheeks.
An elderly woman, who is believed to be a relative, sat alone behind Ninow and was seen continuously wiping tears from her face.
Later, he stood in the dock crying uncontrollably while his attorney read out the plea explanation.
In his plea agreement, Ninow confessed to penetrating the victim's mouth with his penis and his finger.
State Prosecutor Dorah Ngobeni read out the plea agreement in court.
She says a third charge of kidnapping against Ninow was withdrawn by the State.
Ninow also admitted to being in possession of drugs which is commonly known by its street name of 'khat'.
Lastly, he also pleaded guilty on count five which was defeating the ends of Justice.
Earlier this year, the accused underwent a 30-day psychiatric evaluation at the Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital where he was evaluated by four specialists. This was after his legal representative Riaan du Plessis indicated Ninow had a history of mental illness and had battled with drug abuse since he was 14. Subsequent to the evaluation, he was declared fit to stand trial.
Members of the African National Congress Women's league, together with Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, attended Monday's proceedings.
- additional reporting and picture by African News Agency (ANA)