Nicholas Ninow. Photo: Deaan Vivier
- Convicted child rapist Nicholas Ninow was caught in possession of a cellphone in prison.
- Ninow’s prison cell was searched on Saturday afternoon.
- He was sentenced to life imprisonment for raping a seven-year-old girl in the bathroom of a Dros restaurant.
Convicted child rapist Nicholas Ninow, infamously known as the Dros rapist, was caught in possession of a cellphone in the Baviaanspoort prison, where he is currently serving a life sentence.
News24 can reveal that Ninow’s prison cell was searched on Saturday by correctional services officers, who found a cellphone he had allegedly been using.
The discovery was made after News24 probed allegations that Ninow had obtained a cellphone and had been using it to access social media.
Correctional services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo confirmed to News24 that the cellphone had been found.
“This is a disturbing development as the Department of Correctional Services is working towards having contraband-free facilities,” Nxumalo said.
“Cellphones are among the items classified as contraband, and inmates know that these gadgets are not permitted inside our correctional facilities.”
Nxumalo added that a full investigation would be launched.
An investigation has been instituted in order to establish how the cellphone was smuggled, and to identify other players who may have been involved. The confiscated cellphone will be taken for digital forensics.
In addition, Ninow has been charged because it is a criminal offence to have a cellphone inside a correctional facility.
“He will be reprimanded accordingly, a process which may involve the withdrawal of privileges for a specified period, reclassification (downgrade) and other punitive measures.”
This is not Ninow’s first brush with illegal activities while incarcerated.
During his trial, he admitted to using drugs in the Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Centre in Pretoria, where he was being held as an awaiting trial prisoner.
In 2019, Ninow was found guilty of raping a seven-year-old girl in the bathroom of a Dros restaurant in Pretoria in September 2018.
The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria sentenced him to life in prison for the rape, five years for defeating the ends of justice, and an additional five years for the possession of an illegal substance.
While pleading guilty to the charges, the State rejected Ninow’s version that he was using drugs in the bathroom when the child walked in and asked to urinate.
Instead, Judge Mokhine Mosopa found that Ninow had stalked the victim, followed her into the bathroom, where he raped her, making his actions premeditated rather than impulsive.
Ninow also threatened the victim, telling her to keep quiet, and, when caught out, he flushed her underwear down the toilet to get rid of the evidence.
Leave to appeal
News24 recently reported that Ninow had been granted leave to appeal against his conviction and sentence after directly petitioning the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).
The SCA told News24 on Thursday that Ninow had petitioned the Bloemfontein court directly in December last year and was granted access to appeal. However, appeal papers have not yet been filed.
Ninow will likely be appealing the sentence and the high court’s conviction, which found the rape was premeditated.
This comes after Mosopa dismissed Ninow’s bid for leave to appeal against his sentence and conviction in March last year.
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