Zephany Nurse's kidnapper remanded in custody after being found guilty
The woman convicted of kidnapping Zephany Nurse and misleading her into believing she was her biological mother had an opportunity to come clean about how she got to raise the child when police her confronted in February last year – but she lied.
Cape Town Judge President John Hlophe said this while handing down judgment in the kidnapping case today (Thursday).
Zephany was brought up under a different name‚ and the woman cannot be named to protect the teenager.
The 51-year-old woman pleaded not guilty to kidnapping‚ fraud and contraventions of sections of the Children’s Act. But Hlophe convicted her on all charges.
In her plea explanation‚ the woman detailed her numerous attempts to conceive‚ a number of miscarriages and her desperation to adopt a child.
She said a woman she knew only as “Sylvia” had given her the child and told her that “a young girl was not interested in keeping her baby and wanted to give her up for adoption”.
She said she paid Sylvia R3‚000 for the adoption and fertility treatment. She also admitted to misleading her husband and family into believing the child was his and hiding her miscarriage from him.
Hlophe found her story implausible.
“I found your evidence astonishing‚” Hlophe said.
“One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that one does not buy babies. Your story‚ if anything‚ is a fairytale.
“The evidence of your husband…made it worse. This is your husband (and) you lied to him for almost two decades. He got to know for the first time when police arrived (at your home) in February 2015 that he is not the biological father of the child.”
Hlophe revoked the woman’s bail and she was immediately whisked away to the court’s holding cells.
Sentencing procedures were postponed until May 30.
The woman was arrested last year after DNA tests proved that Zephany was not her child.
The state proved that the woman snatched Zephany from Groote Schuur Hospital on April 30‚ 1997‚ the court found.
Zephany was reunited with her biological parents‚ Celeste and Morne Nurse‚ last year after her sister‚ Cassidy‚ enrolled at Zephany’s school and pupils remarked on their similarities‚ which led to an investigation. - TMG Digital/The Times