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South Africans are Outraged that a Convicted Rapist's Crime is Being Downplayed in an Interview on National Television

The country's public broadcaster is interviewing convicted rapist Nicholas Ninow's mother who insists her son is not a rapist but a man who 'made a mistake'.

Almost two weeks ago, Judge Mokhine Mosopa of the Gauteng High Court, sentenced convicted child rapist Nicholas Ninow to life in prison. The sentence came after he was found guilty of raping a 7-year-old girl in a bathroom at the restaurant where he worked as a waiter last year . At the sentencing proceedings, South Africans were appalled that Ninow was allowed to recite a bizarre 48-line poem which he had addressed to the victim and her family, allegedly as a way of showing his remorse. As if that weren't bad enough, South Africa's public broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), has now interviewed Ninow's mother in what many have described to be "insensitive" and a downplaying of his crime.


This past Sunday, SABC news anchor Chriselda Lewis posted a clip of the exclusive interview with Ninow's mother onto social media. The reaction was immediate and not in Lewis' favor. The clip in question shows Ninow's mother saying that her son is not a rapist but that he simply "made a mistake".

Many South Africans have accused both the SABC and Lewis of a number of things including: trying to be garner sympathy for Ninow, affording him further privileges as a White man in spite of him being being a convicted rapist and sensationalist journalism.

Some have asked why Ninow continues to specifically receive so much attention despite South Africa having rapists in abundance. None of these convicted rapists, past or present, have received this kind of media attention and more importantly, in the grossly sympathetic way that Ninow has. Additionally, they've also asked whether Ninow being a White man is what has driven how certain narratives around his crime have been framed.



In response, Lewis has dug in her heels and effectively accused those reprimanding her on social media of being internet trolls. She has also stated that she will no longer be engaging publicly on the matter. The SABC itself has released no official comment with regards to the interview.

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(Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100)

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