Zephany trial starts

2016-02-23 06:00

The family of Zephany Nurse, the 18-year-old woman who was kidnapped from Groote Schuur Hospital as a newborn, are on the brink of finding out the truth about what really happened after their child went missing.

The trial of the 51-year-old woman from Lavender Hill who kidnapped the newborn started in the Western Cape High Court yesterday.

After making a brief appearance before Judge President John Hlophe the case was postponed until today as the judge who was meant to preside was ill. There are also a few things pertaining to the case that still have to be finalised.

The state intends to call seven witnesses whilst the defence will call two. The trial is expected to run until 10 March.

The accused faces charges of kidnapping, fraud and contravening the Children’s Act. Since last year March she has been out on bail and under strict condition to not contact Zephany’s parents. She is also forbidden from seeing Zephany until the trial is over.

It is alleged the woman offered Zephany’s mother, Celeste Nurse, help to put the baby to bed whilst she gets some rest after she was looking exhausted and drained from a Caesarean section. Waking up a little later, her child was gone.

Zephany’s parents Morne and Celeste Nurse said they have always looked for their daughter. They never gave up hope of finding their child and celebrated her birthday each year.

They got a surprise when their second-born child started high school. She befriended a girl at her school who was older than her. People were stunned by their resemblance.

A DNA test was done, which proved that Zephany was indeed their long lost daughter. She was reunited with her biological parents last year.

Since then the alleged kidnapper has been in and out of court following the charges.

Albert Fritz, provincial social development minister, attended the start of the trial yesterday.

“The Department of Social Development has played an instrumental role in not only protecting and rendering ongoing therapy and counselling services to Zephany, but also assisting the criminal justice system in ensuring the truth is revealed and justice is served.

“This trial represents the beginning of the legal process which will hopefully bring clarity, justice and closure to all parties involved,” he says.

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