Zephany kidnap accused snaps at 'clowns' in gallery

2016-03-08 16:00
(Tammy Petersen, News24)

(Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - The woman accused of kidnapping baby Zephany Nurse snapped at the public gallery on Tuesday, calling the people watching her trial a "bunch of clowns".

Judge John Hlophe called for a brief adjournment because the woman could not confirm who would testify in her defence in the Western Cape High Court.

The people in the gallery, mostly the child's biological family and their supporters, started heckling the 51-year-old Lavender Hill woman as she made her way out of the witness box.

"En die clowns kan so lag vir alles [And the clowns laugh at everything]," she responded.

She has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, fraud, and contravening the Children's Act. She allegedly snatched 3-day-old Zephany from Groote Schuur Hospital in April 1997.

Earlier, she testified that she did not tell her family that she never gave birth to the infant she brought home on April 30, 1997.

"They believed I gave birth to the baby. I didn’t tell them it's my biological child. They assumed it's mine.”

Hlophe pointed out that in her plea explanation she had told her sister that she gave birth to a baby.

The accused and her family only gave the infant a name the next day, she said.

However, prosecutor Evadne Kortje said that according to an affidavit from the accused's husband, the couple had discussed what they would name the child during the pregnancy and up to the baby's arrival.

"I don’t know about that," she replied.

The accused, who may not be named as it could identify Zephany by the name given to her after her abduction, said a woman, known only as Sylvia, had told her she could help her to legally adopt.

They met at Tygerberg Hospital shortly after the accused suffered a miscarriage late in 1996, four months before Zephany was kidnapped.

She again insisted that she had not known that when she met Sylvia at the Wynberg train station to discuss the adoption, that a baby would be brought to her.

In her plea explanation, she said she had a "bad feeling something was wrong".

"She [Sylvia] didn't tell me she is going to bring the baby or that the mother is in labour. I accepted that this is the baby the lady didn't want," the accused said.

The accused was arrested in February 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's birthday was on the day their baby had been kidnapped, they reported it to the police.

DNA tests confirmed the teenager was indeed their daughter.

Read more on:    zephany nurse  |  cape town  |  crime

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