Cape Town - Nineteen years after being snatched from her sleeping mother’s arms at Groote Schuur Hospital, Zephany Nurse on Tuesday took the stand in the Western Cape High Court.
The teenager, who was raised with a different name, testified in camera for the State during sentencing proceedings of the Steenberg woman kidnapped and raised her.
Western Cape National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said her testimony would not be released after Judge John Hlophe granted the State's application.
“The application was made over a month ago… due to the sensitivity and nature of the testimony,” Ntabazalila said.
On March 10, Hlophe convicted the woman of kidnapping, fraud and contravening the Children's Act. She maintained 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 after the teenager’s true identity came to light when the girl's biological sister Cassidy, who is four years younger, told her parents that a girl in matric at her school bore a striking resemblance to her and her parents.
DNA tests confirmed the teenager was Zephany.
The kidnapper, however, said she got the baby from a woman called Sylvia, who had been giving her fertility treatment in 1997 after she had miscarried.
Sylvia apparently arranged for the baby to be handed to her at the Wynberg train station without her prior knowledge, she claimed.
Zephany, now 19, currently lives in Steenberg with the man she thought was her father.
The teenager was sent to a place of safety after the kidnapper's arrest. She however opted to move back to the home in which she lived and is understood to have a close bond with the kidnapper's husband.
The matter resumes on Thursday.