Give her 30 years



August 5, 2016
Give her 30 years

Morné with mother Zephra Nurse outside courthouse

Morné: No sentence is long enough given what she’s done to my family.

The biological father of Zephany Nurse says he wants the woman convicted of kidnapping his daughter “to sit for 30 years”.

Yesterday, sentencing proceedings against the 52-year-old Seawinds woman concluded at the Western Cape High Court.

Final arguments in the case have been set down for next Thursday.

Before ending proceedings, Western Cape High Court Judge President Yahya Hlophe ordered that the evidence of Zephany Nurse, who testified behind closed doors on Tuesday, cannot be repeated in final arguments.

“I do not want it reintroduced, I am a judge, and I’m not stupid. It will only be food for the journalists,” he said before walking out.

The state has asked the court to ban the media from reporting any of Zephany’s testimony.

Sentencing proceedings kicked off on Monday as State Prosecutor, Evadne Kortje and defence lawyer, Reaz Khan presented evidence in mitigation and aggravation of sentencing.

The accused was convicted of kidnapping, fraud and contravening the Children’s Act for snatching three-day old Zephany from her mother’s arms as she slept at Groote Schuur Hospital in April 1997.

The woman may not be named to protect the identity of Zephany.

On Thursday, they will conclude their cases, and recommend an appropriate sentence for the accused.

But Morne says no number of years could ever make up for what he has lost.

He said the accused should get “at least six years for every year she had my daughter”.

“I don’t think there are a certain number of years or a sentence that will ever be enough given what my family went through,” he said.

“The figure in my mind is 30 years but we have to respect the court and their ruling. I think I’m grateful that everything is almost over, we are tired of coming to Cape Town.”

The dad was also looking forward to rebuilding his relationship with his now estranged daughter, once the trial is over.

The father of four testified in court that he had no relationship with his first born because of the kidnapper’s “bad influence”.

“Once this lady is locked up I think a breakthrough will come eventually,” he said yesterday.

“I had a relationship with my daughter while (the accused) was in prison, it was only after she was released (on bail) and (Zephany) was indoctrinated, that everything changed.

“But I believe we can and will work things through.”

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