COLUMN: What skeletons really lurk in our dear closet

2016-05-05 06:00
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laughing lunga adam

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I seldom write about matters of national interest. Not that I do not have the interests of our beloved nation at heart. I just prefer to keep it Kasi.

We live in a world of secrets. And what is it that you do when the ghost of secrets confronts you? Here I am particularly referring to the curious case of Zephany Nurse.

For those not in the loop about this intriguing tale of loss, hope, desperation, confusion and rediscovery:

Zephany was snatched from her hospital bed in Groote Schuur Hospital, when she was just three days old, back in 1997. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and anguish felt by her mother and her whole family during all those years she had mysteriously disappeared from their sight. This was until 2015 when, as fate would have it, she started attending the same school as her younger sister. Of course, they did not know each other from a bar of soap, but schoolmates noticed the striking resemblance between the two girls. The younger sister, who had already befriended Zephany, went on to tell her parents about the new friend.

That was the beginning of the unravelling of the truth. This is a sad, sad case. On the one side you have a family who for years did not know what had happened to their beloved daughter. On the other is a woman who has a great attachment to her, the person whom she refers to as her mother.

One wonders how the woman manages sleep at night. To make matters worse, we have been made to learn that her husband was kept in the dark about the whole situation for all these years.

All along, he genuinely thought he was raising his own flesh and blood. Spare a thought for Zephany herself – the poor girl at the centre of the whole scandal. She is said to have shunned her biological family. Who can blame her?

The kidnapping case will resume later this month at the Western Cape High Court for sentencing. It has been very interesting to hear what the accused woman and witnesses have had to say.

The accused contends that it was not a kidnapping and that she had been given the baby by a woman named Sylvia at the Wynberg train station in what she believed was a legal adoption. However, she did not have the adoption papers to prove her case and the judge tore into her version of events during the judgement.

Then, on the international front, there is the whole Bill Cosby brouhaha. Many will know him from the ‘80s sitcom The Cosby Show, playing the role of Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable. We all loved him. And so, we could not have foreseen that, years later, there would be as many as 50 women coming forward with claims of rape against the widely-known celebrity.

The sordid details of his alleged modus operandi–spiking the women’s drinks before sexually assaulting them – are spine chilling. It baffles me, though, why all these women came forward only in recent times.

Or perhaps it’s a case of timing being everything. There was also talk of his own wife having to testify against him in the court case. Times are tough! What one has had to learn from cases of this nature is that people are not usually what they seem to be. Not all that glitters is gold. There are lots of iingcuka ezambethe ufele lwegusha out there – even in our very own communities. That is why when some people are bungled into the back of a police van you register shock, because all along they have presented this morally correct side of themselves. Having said that, though, no one is perfect. After all is said, I guess the question is:What secrets are you keeping secrets from those closest to you.

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