She now feels how we have felt for 18 years - Zephany's father

2016-02-29 16:23
(Tammy Petersen, News24)

(Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - The Nurse family appeared unmoved by the teary testimony on Monday of the woman accused of stealing baby Zephany Nurse from Groote Schuur Hospital 19 years ago.

“The emotions she is feeling now, we have been feeling for 18 years,” Zephany's biological father Morne Nurse said outside the Western Cape High Court.

“I think it’s time for her to feel what it feels like.”

Justice would eventually prevail, he added.

The 51-year-old accused broke down while testifying earlier, when she recalled how Hawks investigators told her that the teenager would not be sleeping at her Lavender Hill home any longer.

The woman was arrested shortly after police came knocking on February 25, 2015.

She faces charges of kidnapping, fraud and contravening the Children’s Act. She has pleaded not guilty.

The woman, who raised Zephany until she was removed from her care last year, said she got the baby from a woman called Sylvia, who she said 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, she testified.

She said she was surprised because she had expected to meet to discuss the adoption process. Sylvia claimed she knew of a woman who did not want to keep her baby because the pregnancy was unplanned.

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

She claimed to have never seen or heard from Sylvia again.

Six years later, the accused said, she received a birth certificate by post with the name she chose for the baby.

Morne Nurse collected evidence for a month after he met the teenager, when his daughter told him a girl at her school bore a striking resemblance to her.

After collecting his daughter Cassidy and the then 17-year-old from Zwaanswyk High in January 2015, he took the two friends to lunch, where she told him her date of birth – April 30, 1997. This was the date his daughter was abducted.

She told Nurse she did not look like her parents. When he told her she looked just like him and his daughter, she burst out laughing.

He backed off as he did not want to scare her, but "scrutinised" her Facebook account and printed photos of her as she had grown up.

Nurse said he sent a photo of the girl and her mother to witness Shireen Piet, who claimed to have seen the suspected abductor on the day Zephany was snatched from her sleeping mother.

When he asked Piet if she recognised the woman, Piet said she did.

DNA tests later confirmed the teenager was Zephany.

Piet testified last week that the accused had tried to steal her baby daughter on the day Zephany was kidnapped.

Morne’s mother, Zephra, said after Monday’s proceedings that should the woman be acquitted or receive a light sentence, “then anyone can steal a child”.

Read more on:    zephany nurse  |  cape town  |  crime

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