If she wants me, I will always be in her life - Zephany accused

2016-03-10 09:54
The woman accused of kidnapping Zephany Nurse leaves the Western Cape High Court. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

The woman accused of kidnapping Zephany Nurse leaves the Western Cape High Court. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - The years spent raising Zephany Nurse were the happiest of her life, the woman accused of snatching the three-day-old baby from Groote Schuur Hospital in 1997 said.

“The Lord knows why He placed her in my arms,” the 51-year-old Lavender Hill woman told News24 outside the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

“I thank Him for the 17 years and 10 months I had with her. She brought me so much joy. I will never forget it.”

The accused is appearing before Judge John Hlophe, who will decide her fate.

The woman, who may not be named as it may result in the teenager's identity being revealed, has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, fraud and contravening the Children's Act.


According to the accused's testimony, she got the baby from a woman called Sylvia, who had been giving her fertility treatment in 1997 after she had miscarried.

Sylvia arranged for the baby to be handed to her at Wynberg station without her prior knowledge, the accused claimed.

She said she was surprised because she had expected to meet to discuss the adoption process.

She said Sylvia claimed to know of a woman who did not want to keep her baby because the pregnancy was unplanned.

The accused testified that the woman had said the paperwork would be arranged later and she had signed documents including an "adoption application".

She claimed to have never heard from Sylvia again.

The accused said that six years later she received a birth certificate by post with the name she chose for the baby.

Hlophe, during closing arguments on Wednesday, said the accused had not given any credible evidence as to how she obtained Zephany, adding that he had "listened to her lies for days".

The State alleges the woman had kidnapped Zephany from the cot next to her mother's bed.

'I will always be her mother'

Despite the judge on Wednesday referring to her as a liar, the accused maintains that she did not kidnap the baby.

“I’m not sorry I took her when the woman handed her over that day,” she said.

“What I am sorry for is that she found out about it this way. I love her and if she wants me, I will always be in her life. I will always be her mother.”

She speaks fondly of the girl who sported wild curls as a child and was able to wrap her father around her finger.

The accused’s husband still considers himself her father, saying the girl has been living with him and has been very supportive of the accused.

“She is strong,” he said. “We joke and laugh. But I don’t know how she feels when she is on her own. I am worried about her.”

Both say they want the child’s biological parents to be part of her life.

“I have encouraged her to build a relationship with them. They are her birth parents. We don’t want to stand in the way of that,” he said.

The accused nodded in agreement.

“I am sorry for what they have been through,” she said. “I am glad they found her. She is a wonderful child. I am proud of how she turned out.”

She clutched on to a bag of tablets, her only preparation should she be found guilty.

“If it happens, it happens,” she said, resigned.

“The Lord’s will, will be done. I have many people praying for me. I’m ready for the outcome.”

Read more on:    zephany nurse  |  cape town

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