Zephany’s secret testimony



August 4, 2016
Zephany’s secret testimony

VICTIM: Baby Zephany with mom Celeste Nurse

No details of the victim's statement will be disclosed to the media.

Western Cape High Court Judge President John Hlophe has ordered no details of Zephany Nurse’s testimony be revealed to the media.

The teenager testified in camera on Tuesday, and journalists were ordered out of the courtroom at the start of proceedings.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila was expected to give a statement, but told journalists the judge instructed that anyone privy to her testimony and found to have revealed details, would have to appear before the judge for being “in contempt of court”.

He said “the sensitivity of the testimony” was the reason behind the court order, and the State made an application in this regard several weeks ago.

The accused has not been allowed to have any contact with Zephany since her arrest in February last year.

But the teenager has been living with the kidnapper’s husband and the man she believed was her father.

On Monday, clinical psychologist Mark Steyn, testifying in mitigation of sentence for the defence, told the court that the accused “understood the wrongfulness” of what she had done.

During interviews with Steyn, she had said “even if they were bad people it wouldn’t have been a reason to kidnap Zephany”.

The woman has maintained her innocence throughout the trial, and claimed that the child was sold to her by a woman called Sylvia, and handed to her at a train station.

Her version was rejected by Judge Hlophe and dismissed as a “fairytale”.

State prosecutor Evadne Kortje said there were three types of women who commit this crime – a nurturing woman, an impulsive psychotic woman and the manipulative woman.

“Clearly this woman falls into the latter part. She manipulated her husband, Zephany Nurse and her whole family and they are none the wiser for it,” she said.

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