'She was laughing at us': Morne Nurse says he'll never forgive Zephany's abductor as 52 year old prepares to hear her fate

By Marelize Potgieter
11 August 2016

The thought of forgiving the woman who stole his daughter from him hasn’t even crossed his mind, Zephany's dad says.

The thought of forgiving the woman who stole his daughter from him hasn’t even crossed his mind.

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This was Morne Nurse's reaction on Thursday outside the high court in Cape Town after the closing arguments at the sentencing of the 52-year-old woman from Lavender Hill who was found guilty of kidnapping Zephany Nurse.

“Throughout the trial this lady did not show any remorse or empathy for anyone in my family. She was laughing at us. We were very emotional throughout this year.”

The woman, whose name may not be revealed in order to protect Zephany’s identity, was found guilty on charges of kidnapping, fraud and contravention of sections of the Children’s Act in March this year.

During court proceedings it came to light that the child was taken from Groote Schuur hospital 19 years ago and the woman then raised her as her own.

Read more: ‘I always knew she would come back’: Zephany’s dad

Her biological parents tracked her down last year after she ended up attending the same school as her sister and school friends constantly commented on how much the pair looked alike.

Morne says that he had initially hoped for a sentence of 30 years in prison, but that the family would be happy with 15 to 20 years.

“My relationship with my daughter took a lot of strain through this lady -- but we are getting there. This thing took a lot out of us, a lot of stress, a lot of sleepless nights. The suffering is ongoing. The pain will be there up until our dying day. It will never go away.”

The defence argued that it is clear that the public and Zephany’s family want the kidnapping to be avenged.

Read more: ‘I’m guilty of raising her, yes. I raised her with the help of God but I didn’t take her’

The accused’s lawyer, Reaz Khan, asked that the court not impose a harsh sentence out of anger. “I ask that her age and health, which is not good, be taken into account.”

The prosecutor Evandé Kortjé said that the accused showed no empathy and didn’t accept any responsibility for her actions. “That is a big problem for me.”

She asked that the accused serve a sentence of 15 to 20 years in prison.

Sentencing takes place on Monday at 10 am.

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