Alleged baby snatcher breaks down in court

2016-02-29 13:42

Cape Town – The woman accused of snatching Zephany Nurse as a baby cried in the Western Cape High Court on Monday as she recalled the day police arrived on her doorstep and she saw the girl for the last time.

Judge John Hlophe had to adjourn court for a few minutes after the 51-year-old woman recalled how members of the Hawks arrived with a search warrant on February 25, 2015, and told her the matriculant would not return home that night.

She allegedly took Nurse from Groote Schuur Hospital in 1997. She is on trial on charges of kidnapping, fraud, and contravening the Children’s Act. She has pleaded not guilty.

The accused, who cannot be named to protect Zephany’s new identity, testified that the lead investigator had informed her he was investigating a kidnapping. She was being questioned by her lawyer, Raez Khan.

"He told me, 'Jy het die kind gesteel' (you stole the child) and made all these accusations. I told him I had not been there."

While she remained composed during the questioning, she became emotional when she recalled being told the girl would not stay with her any longer. She had done everything for Zephany and raised her for 18 years, she said.

"I didn't see her again," she testified, in tears.

Police went to the girl’s Retreat school where the principal told her her life would change forever.

DNA samples were taken from the girl, which upset the accused as she had not given permission for any to be taken.

"But I was told the child could give permission from the age of 12," she said.

She was arrested in February 2015. The matter came to light when the girl's biological sister, who is four years younger, told her parents that a matric girl at her school bore a striking resemblance to her and her parents.

When the parents discovered the girl had the same birthday as the day their child disappeared, they reported it to police. DNA tests confirmed the teen was indeed their daughter.

The woman claimed the child was handed to her at Wynberg Station by a woman sent by a women named Sylvia. She said she met Sylvia at Tygerberg Hospital after she suffered a miscarriage in December 1996.

Sylvia helped those with fertility problems and arranged adoptions. She had since lost the woman’s contact number and had always met her in public places. The accused said she never told her family about her miscarriage.




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