Zephany kidnap accused calm when cops came knocking - officer

2016-02-25 17:50


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Cape Town - The woman accused of kidnapping Zephany Nurse from Groote Schuur Hospital in 1997 was calm and composed when police came knocking at her door a year ago, the Western Cape High Court heard on Thursday.

Hawks Warrant Officer Petro Coetzee testified that the woman only showed emotion after being told that the teenager would not be sleeping at home that night.

“Her exact words were: ‘Laat sy asseblief by my bly tot alles verby is’ [Please let her stay with me until all this is over],” she said.

Coetzee was one of three police officers present when a search warrant was executed on the family’s Lavender Hill home and the woman was arrested, on February 25 2015.

She was testifying for the State during the trial of the woman, who is charged with kidnapping, fraud, and contravening the Children's Act. She has pleaded not guilty and may not be named to protect the girl's identity. 

Coetzee said when they asked her whose child she had been raising, the woman said it was her daughter and her husband was the father. She said the child was born at a mobile maternity clinic in Retreat.

“She was shown records of the day in question and her name didn’t appear anywhere. She maintained that the baby had been born there.”

When asked if she had kidnapped the child, the accused did not answer the question, the officer said.


She said she had registered the birth when the child was 6 in either Cape Town or Wynberg, Coetzee testified.

When the colonel leading the questioning told her the girl had been registered in Malmesbury in 2003, the accused said this may have been the case as this correlated with the time her brother died.

Zephany was collected from school in Retreat that day and taken to a place of safety for questioning.

When shown an age progression from a photo of her in hospital shortly after her birth, the teen recognised herself, she testified.

“She said, ‘That is exactly what I looked like in primary school’,” Coetzee recalled.

The matter came to light when the girl's biological sister, who is 4 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.

The trial resumes on Monday.

Read more on:    zephany nurse  |  cape town  |  abductions

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