Zephany Nurse to testify in camera for the State

2016-05-30 11:44
Zephany Nurse just after she was born. (Netwerk24)

Zephany Nurse just after she was born. (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - Teenager Zephany Nurse will testify for the State in the sentencing proceedings against the woman who kidnapped her when she was a newborn baby and raised her.

Western Cape High Court Judge John Hlophe ruled on Monday that the testimony would be heard in camera. Only the officers of the court would be allowed to be present.

Prosecutor Evadne Kortje said the State was ready to proceed, and that reports from the accused’s probation officer and victim impact reports for biological parents Celeste and Morne Nurse as well as Zephany, 19, had been obtained.

However Riaz Khan, for the accused, said he had only received the judgment, which was delivered in March, on Monday morning.

Hlophe postponed the matter to August 1.

Baby allegedly handed over at train station

On March 10, Hlophe convicted her of kidnapping, fraud and contravening the Children’s Act. She had insisted in her testimony that she had not been at Groote Schuur Hospital on the day Nurse was kidnapped in 1997.

The woman was arrested in February 2015. The matter came to light when the girl's biological sister, who is four years younger, told her parents a matric girl at her school bore a striking resemblance to her and her parents.

According to her testimony, she got the baby from a woman called Sylvia, who had been giving her fertility treatment in 1997 after she had miscarried.

Sylvia allegedly arranged for the baby to be handed to her at the Wynberg train station without her prior knowledge. The accused claimed to have been 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 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.

Hlophe in March said he had “listened to her lies for days”.

DNA testing

Morne Nurse, Zephany’s biological father, previously testified he collected evidence for a month after he met the teenager, after his daughter and the girl became friends.

After collecting his daughter Cassidy and the then 17-year-old from school 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.

When he told her she did not look like her parents and 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 growing up.

Nurse said he sent a photo of the girl and her mother to witness Shireen Piet. Piet had testified that she had seen the woman in the hospital 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.

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

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