Zephany Nurse takes the stand



August 1, 2016
Zephany Nurse takes the stand

EXPECTING JUSTICE: Celeste and Morné Nurse

Teen to testify for state snatcher sentencing begins.

Zephany Nurse is expected to take the stand in court today, where sentencing for the woman who was found guilty of kidnapping her is set to begin.

The 51-year-old Seawinds resident is due in the Western Cape High Court, where the defence will argue for a lesser sentence.

Sentencing proceedings were meant to get underway in May already, but the woman’s lawyer Reaz Khan said he needed more time to prepare.

At her last appearance, it was also confirmed in court that Zephany would testify on behalf of the state.

However the 19-year-old’s testimony will take place behind closed doors after the state applied to have the media barred from proceedings.

Khan has not revealed his witness list but said he would call three people to the stand.

He initially wanted to call Zephany as well, before learning that she would be testifying against the woman who has raised her.

The accused has been in Pollsmoor Prison since March after she was convicted of kidnapping, fraud and contravening the children’s act for stealing three-day old Zephany while she slept in her mother’s arm at Groote Schuur Hospital in 1997.

Zephany’s true identity was discovered last year when the teen, who was in Matric, bonded with her biological sister at the school they both attended.

DNA tests revealed she was the long lost daughter of Morné and Celeste Nurse.

Judge President Yahya John Hlophe told the accused she faces 10 years in jail for each of the charges.

Morné and Celeste said they were “relieved” when the woman was convicted, and just wanted justice to take its course.

At the end of her trial, the woman apologised to the Nurse family for the pain they had suffered.

But she maintained that she did not kidnap Zephany, who she claimed was given to her by a mysterious woman whom she only knew has “Sylvia”.

Celeste said as a Christian she had already forgiven the accused but still wished for justice to prevail.

Granny Marilyn Frances said the family would be happy with a custodial sentence.

The Nurses were not available for comment yesterday.

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