Zephany turns on kidnap mom



May 20, 2016
Zephany turns on kidnap mom

GUILTY: Seawinds woman, 52. CREDIT: Noor Slamdien

Teen set to testify against snatcher before sentencing.

Zephany Nurse will have the difficult task of testifying against the woman who kidnapped her and raised her as her own daughter.

In just over a week, the 52-year old Seawinds woman convicted of stealing the three-day old Zephany from hospital will hear her fate.

Sentencing proceedings are set to get underway at the Western Cape High Court on May 30, and yesterday the kidnapper’s lawyer confirmed Zephany will be testifying in aggravation of sentencing.

Lawyer Reaz Khan confirmed to the Daily Voice his client became unavailable to him as a witness after prosecutors informed him Zephany would now be testifying for the state.

“I was aware that she might be a witness for the state and as such I could not contact her to ask her to become our witness,” he explains.

“The state only advised me a few days ago that she will be testifying for them.

“They did advise me that they might, and I also advised them she was not going to testify for them, I would need her.”

Khan said he was not worried about Zephany damaging his client’s case, although he has no idea what she will say on the stand.

“I’m not really concerned [about her being on state’s list]. I’m not sure what she will say, we have not seen her statement and we might not see it (before the time).”

It would be the first time the young woman speaks publicly about her life with the woman who kidnapped her.

However, it’s believed her testimony might be heard in camera (closed court).

The teenager has in recent months shunned her biological family, coming to her kidnapper’s defence in the media.

But her testimony for the state might indicate a change of heart, something which her biological maternal grandmother, Marilyn Frances, is grateful for.

“I’m very relieved because the truth must be revealed and I believe that she is also finally starting to see it,” Marilyn tells the Daily Voice.

The kidnapper faces a possible 10-year prison term for charges including kidnapping, fraud and contravening the Children’s Act.

Zephany was snatched from Groote Schuur Hospital on April 30, 1997.

The teen’s real identity was discovered last year during a chance meeting with her younger sister Cassidy, who attended the same high school. DNA tests revealed she was the long lost child of Morne and Celeste Nurse.

Throughout her trial, the woman denied kidnapping Zephany, claiming she was given to her by a woman only identified as Sylvia, who had helped her adopt a child after she lost her own baby.

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