State to call seven witnesses in Groote Schuur baby snatching case

2016-02-22 13:42

Cape Town - The State will call seven witnesses in its case against a woman accused of kidnapping a newborn baby from her biological mother at Groote Schuur Hospital 19 years ago.

The accused, a 51-year-old woman from Lavender Hill, appeared in the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

The case was postponed to Tuesday as prosecutor Evadne Kortje and Reaz Khan, for the accused, finalised admissions.

Kortje told Judge John Hlope she would have no more than seven key witnesses. Khan said he would call two.

The accused, who may not be named as it may lead to the teenager being identified, was released on R5 000 bail in March. She was arrested in February 2015, in connection with the kidnapping of the baby girl in 1997.

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 their missing child, they reported it to police.

DNA tests had confirmed the teen was indeed their daughter.

Outside the court, Western Cape social development MEC Albert Fritz said while his department had offered the teenager counselling, she had not been attending the sessions.

“But we are still talking to her. We are hopeful that the case will bring closure for everyone.”

He was attending proceedings because he took the case “very seriously” and was concerned about the fate of all those involved. They wanted to continue the support they had been giving the girl and wanted the trial concluded speedily, he said.

The teenager is understood to be living with the accused’s husband, who raised her as his own.

The woman is not allowed to have any contact with the victim until the conclusion of the trial.

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