Zephany Nurse consoles Courtney's mother

Zephany Nurse offers her condolences to Juanita Pieters (Shantel Moses, Netwerk24)
Zephany Nurse offers her condolences to Juanita Pieters (Shantel Moses, Netwerk24)

Cape Town - Zephany Nurse, who as a baby was abducted from Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town 20 years ago, offered her condolences on Wednesday to Courtney Pieters' mother and spoke about her own experiences for the first time.

Nurse, who was only three days old when she was abducted, said Pieters' story had compelled her to break her silence, Netwerk24 reported.

Three-year-old Courtney had been missing for nine days after she was last seen alive on May 4. Her body was later found in an industrial area in Epping, Cape Town.

Mortimer Saunders, 40, is accused of raping and murdering her.

"Her story resonated with me. I was also abducted and I can only imagine the pain my parents must have gone through. We are all still going through a hard, painful time. I know what the family must feel like now. No-one was prepared for it. It is a pain which is forced upon you."

Nurse said Mother's Day had been the worst for her.

Tears

"There isn't a quick fix. I mostly live from day to day. My mother [who raised me] will always be part of my life."

Nurse said she was sorry that Courtney's parents hadn't got their child back alive.

"As a family, you will get through it. You have to be strong. You are going to miss your child, but you will get through this. Your story resonates with me, because I lost my mother through everything - not physically, but I lost her," she told Courtney's mother, Juanita.

Juanita's tears flowed when she once again recounted what she had gone through in the past two weeks.

"My baby was raped and murdered," Juanita said, in tears.

Nurse said she also has a little girl and fears for her life.

"For my child's sake, I had to come out of my shell. To abduct a child is so wrong. At least I have the opportunity to carry on with my life."

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