Zephany Nurse kidnap accused may know her fate this week

2016-03-08 17:15
The woman accused of kidnapping Zephany Nurse leaves the Western Cape High Court. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

The woman accused of kidnapping Zephany Nurse leaves the Western Cape High Court. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - The woman accused of snatching baby Zephany Nurse from Groote Schuur Hospital while her mother slept may know her fate by the end of the week.

Judge John Hlophe on Tuesday said he would probably make a ruling on Thursday. The State and defence would present their closing arguments in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said he believed the State had done enough to secure a conviction.

"We leave everything in the hands of the judge," he said.

If she was found guilty, they would ask for a jail sentence, considering the seriousness of the charges and the pain that the parties to the matter had experienced.

Both the prosecution and the defence closed their cases on Tuesday.

The State alleges that the 51-year-old accused snatched the baby while her mother slept, on April 30, 1997, three days after the child was born at Groote Schuur Hospital.

However, the accused claims she was not at the Observatory hospital on the day of the kidnapping.

The Lavender Hill woman testified that she got the baby from a woman called Sylvia, who had given her fertility treatment after her miscarriage three months before the kidnapping.

Sylvia had arranged for the baby to be handed to her at Wynberg station without her prior knowledge, she testified previously.

She said she was surprised because she had expected to meet to discuss the adoption process.

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

'Adoption application'

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

She claimed to have never seen or heard from Sylvia again. The accused said that six years later she received a birth certificate by post with the name she chose for the baby.

Morne Nurse, the child's biological father, 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 fetching his daughter Cassidy and the then 17-year-old from school in January 2015, he took the two friends to lunch. She told him her date of birth was 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 Shireen Piet, who claimed to have seen the accused on the day Zephany was snatched from her mother.

Piet said she recognised the woman, as the "hoog [highly] pregnant" woman who had visited her a few times during her hospital stay.

Piet claimed the accused had tried to steal her baby hours before Zephany's disappearance. Piet pointed her out at an ID parade after her arrest last year.

During cross-examination on Tuesday, the accused insisted that she had never seen or met Piet and argued that Morne had not sent her a photo taken from Facebook.

Read more on:    zephany nurse  |  cape town  |  crime

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