Accused: I tried to find Zephany's mom - As it happened

2016-02-29 09:11

Get the latest as the accused in the Zephany Nurse baby snatching case tells her side of the story.


Jump to

Last Updated at 22:20
29 Feb 10:58

IN SUMMARY: The accused in the Zephany Nurse kidnap trial testified before the Western Cape High Court on Monday. The woman, who cannot be named so as to protect Zephany, claimed that she did not go to Groote Schuur Hospital on the day Zephany was taken.

She says she went to Tygerberg Hospital after having pregnancy troubles that led to her miscarrying. It was in this time when she met a woman named Sylvia who said she could help with fertility problems and adoptions. She suggested to the accused that she try for an adoption.

Weeks later the accused said she met a woman at Wynberg train station who was working with Sylvia. The woman handed her a baby. She tried to find the baby's biological mother but could never find her.

The trial continues next Monday as the State advocate cannot cross-examine today after experiencing a death in the family.  

29 Feb 10:47

29 Feb 10:37

The child was born 30 April. This is all she knows, she said.

The matter has been postponed until Monday for cross-examination by the State because the prosecutor has had a death in the family.

29 Feb 10:36
"I tried," she said. "I didn't go out to look for her because I didn't know where the child was born or where the mother was from."

29 Feb 10:36

Hlophe: did you attempt to find out who the parents of the child was?

Accused wanted the biological mother's details to tell the child who her mother was one day.

29 Feb 10:34
She lost Sylvia's number years ago, which is why she went to Tygerberg hospital.

29 Feb 10:34
She had tried to find Sylvia before, she has also gone to Tygerberg to find her to ask for the papers.

29 Feb 10:33

Accused: "I was never a nurse. I never wore maroon pants and a [cream] top." She said she was not at the hospital when the baby was abducted. She is raising her sister's son. He is not adopted. He knows her sister is his mother.

Sylvia had given her receipts, but she doesn't have them with her or know where it is.

She also does not have copies of this adoption papers. She gave all her particulars to Sylvia.

29 Feb 10:32

Court has resumed. The accused now speaks of Ms Piet, who testified that the accused had tried to steal her baby hours before the abduction. First time I saw her was at the ID parade. She said it looks like me, number 2. She reiterates she was not at the hospital on the day of the kidnapping. She also had not gone to Malmesbury to register the child.

She said she didn't have documentation to register the baby at home affairs.

Judge John Hlophe asks again about the attempted abduction of Mrs Piet's baby. Accused repeats that she only saw the woman at the ID parade and at court.

29 Feb 10:17

At the school, they took the child for DNA tests. She said she had not given permission, but was told the child could give permission from the age of 12. The accused's DNA was taken at Victoria Hospital. When told the child would not be sleeping at home, she burst into tears. She couldn't do anything for herself, the accused said.

The accused bursts into tears as she recalls the last time she saw the girl, prior to the police coming to her house in February last year. "I didn't see her again".

The court has taken a short adjournment.

29 Feb 10:14

In February last year, her sister said there were people at her home. When she asked who it was, she told her it was the police. They came to collect her. Officers, a social worker were introduced.

The lead investigator told her he is investigating a kidnapping. "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."

29 Feb 10:13

Evidence includes death certificate for her brother collected is marked November 27 2003. She said she didn't know where the baby given to her was, where it was born or who its mother was.

She decided to keep it because "its mother doesn't want it. I will take it until the adoption papers come through. I didn't know it was kidnapped."

She didn't tell them about the adoption because her husband and Zephany"have such a close bond, We became so close. I was about to tell her, but I thought of her education. I would have told them after she finished her matric."

29 Feb 10:06
A 19 December 1996 photo of her and husband in Spur for his birthday.  She never had blonde hair with grey streaks. Not like the identikit compiled of the suspect.

29 Feb 10:04

She hoped to fall pregnant with Sylvia's help. She was "confident" she would. Her sister gave birth at Groote Schuur on 12 May 1997. She took Zephany with her to visit. Her sister, who died two years ago, lost the baby a few weeks later.

She and her sister also went to visit her domestic worker after she gave birth. Another family member also gave birth later, and they went to visit them in the maternity ward as well, the accused said

29 Feb 10:02

Before that relationship, she was married to her now ex-husband. They were married in 1988, divorced in 1990. He was very abusive, she said. He went to jail for robbery while they were married. When she visited him, a man told her not to kiss him because her husband had a blade between his fingers and wanted to kill her. She decided to divorce him.

While at school, she fell pregnant from her boyfriend. The baby died six weeks after birth.

After Zephany, they tried for another baby. She fell pregnant in 2001, and miscarried again. "Then I decided I am never going to try again."

I didn't tell them about the miscarriage in 1996. "I was devastated. I locked myself in my room."

29 Feb 09:56

She was not at Groote Schuur hospital on the day of the abduction, she testified. She had been at hospital after she was beaten by her partner,  as well as for gynaecological treatment. The last time was in 1993.

From 1992 to 1994 she was in a relationship with another man. Fell pregnant and lost the baby in 1993.

29 Feb 09:54
In March 2003 she received a birth certificate in the post. It was initialed with her husband's initials and surname, which are the same as the girl's. It was from Malmesbury. She said she never registered the child. She had only been to Malmesbury home affairs with family to collect her brother's death certificate after he died in an accident near Langebaan.

29 Feb 09:51

Sylvia gave papers for the accused's fiance to sign. A week or so later, a man brought papers to her home for her husband to sign. There were visitors, and she told him it was to register the baby on his surname after he asked what the documents were for. She gave it to the man and she never saw the man again.

She says she never heard from Sylvia again.

29 Feb 09:48
Her fiance had to sign a form as her soon-to-be husband's mother wanted the baby on his name.

29 Feb 09:46
Judge Hlophe has told the accused numerous times that "there is something I don't understand".

29 Feb 09:44

The accused asked Sylvia where is the mother of the child (as she wanted to meet her). She only spoke about the adoption papers which she took from her bag. She can't recall what her response was to her question. She said the adoption was in process and that she had the accused's details. She just told me where to sign because she had my details.

She asked if me and my fiance were going to get married. I said yes but no date set. Sylvia said his details were needed for registration of birth. she said she would sort out the birth certificate. I paid her the balance of the R3 000.

29 Feb 09:41
The Lavender Hill woman says she and Sylvia met in the city at the Golden Acre on about 15 May 1997.

29 Feb 09:40

She went to sit at the bench in the foyer. Opened up the crawler, saw the umbilical cord was still attached. I told myself something was wrong. Maybe the adoption papers were not ready yet.

I stood up and phoned Aunty Mary (who used to drive her for work) and asked her to fetch me at hospital.

Mary had previously testified she never went to collect the accused. I called my sister on the neighbour's phone and told her I had had a baby.

Two weeks later, I asked Sylvia where is the clinic card and the birth certificate. She said they would meet.

29 Feb 09:38

She asked where Sylvia is as she never said she would be sending a baby.

She took the baby and went to Retreat hospital. She went to the pay phone and phoned Sylvia. She told her that was the baby she had told her about for adoption. The accused said she wanted to be present for the birth. The nurse she was supposed to see at the hospital was not available.

Sylvia told her she would be in touch soon.

29 Feb 09:35

"I didn't feel well, so I went to the doctor that morning. That afternoon I went, and waited for her at the station. I waited a while and suddenly this woman approached me, with a baby in hand. She asked if I am waiting for Sylvia, and I said yes."

She asked where is Sylvia, and she said Sylvia sent her with the baby. She was instructed to go to Retreat hospital and phone her from there, the accused said.

29 Feb 09:31

One evening I received a call and she told me to meet her the Wednesday at 16:00 in Wynberg.

She didn't confirm the reason. She asked why Wynberg, and the woman said she would be in the area that day.

29 Feb 09:30
I said we could talk about it if we meet again, accused says she told Sylvia.

29 Feb 09:29

I gave her more of the outstanding money and also asked how the adoption process works. - Accused

She said they would work through the courts, the accused said. Accused said Simon's Town was her closest one.

The woman again contacted her in April, and told her about a young girl who wanted to give her baby up for adoption.

29 Feb 09:28

The medication is to help me fall pregnant, she explained. "If I get my monthly [period], I must start on the tablets and have intercourse."

She was then instructed to phone 'Sylvia' when she starts the course of tablets. She phoned her when she started the tablets. Sylvia said she would phone after a few weeks or months.

When Sylvia phoned, the accused told her she was not pregnant. In late February, Sylvia phoned for the balance of the money. Said they should meet at the hospital. The accused told her it wasn't possible, and asked to transfer it into her account.

We discussed where to meet, and we decided on Cape Town. This as the woman didn't want the money transferred.

She gave Sylvia the money and was asked if she was interested in adoption. Accused said yes.

She phoned again at the end of March 1997 and asked her to again meet her in the CBD.

29 Feb 09:25

She told the woman she had the R800 deposit. She said she would start her on the tablets, the accused testifies.

In doctor's room, it is confirmed that her Fallopian tube is causing her problems. As she left, she approached "Sylvia" who gave her the tablets and how to use it. She said she must have sex with her husband and phone her when she uses the tablets.

29 Feb 09:21
She took the money with her to the hospital, the suspect, from Lavender Hill, says. She saw the same woman again, chatting to another patient.

29 Feb 09:20
She had asked her now deceased brother for the R800 over the festive season. He gave it to her.

29 Feb 09:20
Her husband could not go to the appointment due to work commitments.

29 Feb 09:19
She went back the next month for her doctor's appointment. She had to bring her then fiance for a sperm sample to be taken - accused says

29 Feb 09:19
"I didn't have money at that moment, but I would find the money. We exchanged telephone numbers" - accused

29 Feb 09:18

Accused: My name was called by the doctor for results. The doctor said one of her tubes were working, but the other was "a bit slow". He issued her with medication and a follow-up appointment was arranged.

She saw the woman filling in a form when she left the doctor's room. She asked the woman about the process and she explained that she should fill in her details and asked if she had a follow-up appointment date.

If interested, you fill in your details, the woman told the accused, and she "takes it from there".

29 Feb 09:17

In the waiting room, the accused and three women were speaking when a woman with a clipboard approached, saying she helped women with fertility problems and those interested in adoption. There were a few women in the waiting room. She spoke to everyone, not to her specifically.

The woman said there were people who had unplanned pregnancies who didn't want their babies. She also issued brochures. If you are interested, the cost would be R3 000, the woman apparently said. This included medication and "the process" involved for the treatment.

"When we approached her, she said you must give a deposit of R800, whereafter tablets are provided," the accused claims.

29 Feb 09:15
The accused (who cannot be named to protect the identity given to Zephany) says she fell pregnant in October 1996. After experiencing abdominal pains in December, she went to see the doctor at Tygerberg hospital. "They examined me, did X-rays and told me to wait in the waiting room for the results."

29 Feb 09:11

The Zephany Nurse case, in which a woman has been accused of snatching a 3-day-old baby from Groote Schuur Hospital in 1997, continues at the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

The 51-year-old, who is accused of kidnapping the infant from her mother 19 years ago, will appear before Judge John Hlophe.

The accused, who may not be named as it could lead to the teenager being identified, faces charges related to the Children's Act, fraud, and kidnapping.

She was arrested in February 2015 in connection with the kidnapping of the baby girl in 1997.The infant's biological name is Zephany Nurse.

The name given to her by the accused however has not been made public.Neither name could be published while Zephany was still a minor.

She turned 18 in April last year.

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 confirmed the teen was indeed their daughter.

Jump to


Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Mobile Developer

Cape Town
Goldman Tech Resourcing
R360 000 - R480 000 Per Year

Senior PHP Developer

Cape Town
Mass Staffing Projects
R480 000 - R720 000 Per Year

Sales Representative

Cape Town
Pax Staffing Dynamix (Pty) Ltd
R8 000 - R25 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.