A childminder, who looked after children in the play area of a Dros restaurant in Pretoria, where a seven-year-old girl was raped, broke down in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria while testifying on Tuesday
The woman, who did not want to be named, was the State’s third witness and her testimony primarily focused on her duties as well as the role she played when she found Nicholas Ninow in the bathroom with the child.
Ninow has admitted raping the child.
The childminder broke down, telling the court that she quit her job because she felt she had failed.
“I still can’t believe I was with the child and this happened to her,” she said.
To add to her emotions, the child’s mother told her that she trusted her with her child, and that she failed to look after her.
The court heard that, on the day of the incident, the child told the witness that she wanted to go to the bathroom. She followed the child to the bathroom and then went on a break, which lasted for 15 minutes.
When she returned to the children’s play area, she noticed that the victim’s brother was alone and asked where his sister was. He said she was still in the bathroom.
“At that point, the mother came in and asked where the child was. Then myself and this little boy, we responded simultaneously that she went to the toilet,” the witness testified.
The childminder, the victim’s mother, the waitress that served Ninow and two other waitresses then went to the woman’s bathroom to look for her.
When they forced the door of a toilet stall open, they found Ninow and the victim.
“When I registered this child, she was wearing a skirt and purple tights, but by the time I [saw] this child inside the toilet, she was no longer wearing the tights. She was only wearing the skirt,” the childminder said.
She added that Ninow was not wearing a shirt and that he had his trousers on which were unzipped.
Corroborating a waitress’ earlier testimony, the childminder told the court that Ninow tried to use a belt to hit them before running into the men’s toilets.
A fourth witness, another waitress, also testified that they found Ninow in the bathroom with the child and he used his belt to try to hit them.
The court adjourned and the State is expected to call two more witnesses on Wednesday before closing its case.
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