Social Development MEC Albert Fritz

The Department of Social Development is threatening to take action against the media on behalf of Zephany Nurse, after accusing newspapers of sensationalised reporting.

Yesterday, Albert Fritz, the MEC for Social Development, released a statement calling for news agencies to refrain from using “anonymous sources” while reporting on “slanderous” stories about the teen.

It’s believed he was referring to a report in The New Age earlier this month, who quoted Zephany’s aunt saying the girl was pregnant.

This was in contravention of a court ruling that the media may not report anything that may reveal Zephany’s identity.

Other media also reported on this story, many citing unnamed sources.

Fritz indicated his office would take the necessary steps and take media houses to the Ombudsman on behalf of Zephany because news reports such as these were detrimental to her health.

“The Western Cape Department of Social Development is pleading with media houses to show restraint and respect to the young woman known as ‘Zephany Nurse’,” Fritz says.

“The ongoing ‘anonymous source’ driven news articles which are unconfirmed, speculative, and slanderous, only serve to stigmatise her and derail her actual process of building her self-identity and self-actualisation.

“It is important to note Zephany is her own person, and has begun to live her life as she sees fit. The Department will continue to walk with Zephany, and assist where needed as she plans her life going forward.”

Zephany’s biological father Morne Nurse did not want to comment on Fritz’ statement yesterday.

Two weeks ago, Zephany’s kidnapper, a 52-year-old woman from Seawinds, was sentenced to an effective 10 years behind bars for snatching her as a three day old from Groote Schuur Hospital in April 1997.