War of words between kidnapper's family and Zephany's biological parents

2016-05-30 14:27
Morne Nurse speaks to reporters outside the Western Cape High Court. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Morne Nurse speaks to reporters outside the Western Cape High Court. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - A war of words broke out on the steps of the Western Cape High Court on Monday between Zephany Nurse’s biological family and loved ones of the woman accused of snatching her in 1997.

The kidnapper’s supporters hurled harsh words at the Nurses and their friends, shouting that it was their fault the teenager no longer wanted to have a relationship with them.

A relative said while the people who raised Zephany - who now goes by the name given to her by her kidnapper - have been encouraging her to bond with her biological family, the 19-year-old refuses.

“If they come to the house, she doesn’t want to speak to them. She was hurt by how they belittled the people who raised her, during the trial. They are the only parents she knows,” the woman said.

“That man who the Nurses called an idiot is the one who she loves the most. He loves her so much. He supports her financially and in every other way. He gets up every day to go to work to provide for her. What has her biological family done since they found her?”

‘It’s clear who she wants to be with’

Following the kidnapper’s conviction, the Nurses had put an enormous amount of pressure on Zephany to choose between the families, the woman claimed.

“It is clear to see who she wants to be with. And it’s because of their persistence and unwillingness to think about how she feels that is driving her away. She even changed her number because she was being bombarded with messages where they force themselves on her. She doesn’t need that.”

The woman’s husband told News24 his wife is doing well and “is surviving” behind bars.

He refuted claims that she had been assaulted at Pollsmoor Prison, saying she had not seen any trouble since being locked up.

New hairstyle

In the dock, the kidnapper sported a new, sleek hairstyle which did not sit well with loved ones of Zephany’s biological parents.

“Waar dink sy gaan sy? [Where does she think she’s going?],” one woman asked after proceedings.

“Lyk die tronk doen haar goed [Looks like jail is treating her well].”

The woman’s sister insisted the family had stood by her, and visited her twice a week.

“There’s no way we will just leave her there. They want to see her in jail, but God knows best. She raised me, and was a mother in a million for Zephany.”

After Judge John Hlophe postponed the matter to August 1, the Nurses and their relatives prayed on the court steps, calling for children to be protected from “evil”.

Nurses unhappy with another court delay

Biological father Morne Nurse said the family was disappointed at the delay.

“It’s three months later now and we have to wait another two months. We are not too happy with the proceedings at this stage,” he said.

“We can’t handle it anymore. We’re tired. We just want to have our lives to ourselves. And that is just not happening.

“The world can’t blame us for what this lady is going through. She is in the hands of the courts and the law. There is no remorse from our side - she made her bed, now she must lie in it.”

His brother, Gavin, said Zephany’s well-being was their main concern.

“We must remember at the centre of this entire scenario we have a young girl who is the key figure. She is the most important thing to us as the family and should be to everyone else.”

The 51-year-old kidnapper was convicted in March of stealing the 3-day-old Zephany while her mother slept in the maternity ward of Groote Schuur Hospital on April 30, 1997.

She registered Zephany as her biological child at the Malmesbury home affairs office, and lied to both her husband and the girl that she had given birth to her.

Hlophe, delivering his verdict, said there was overwhelming evidence against the woman, who had suffered a miscarriage four months before the kidnapping.

Read more on:    zephany nurse  |  cape town  |  crime  |  abductions

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