Cape Town 160309- The accused in the Zephany' Nurse's court case at Cape High Court with her husband
Cape Town 160309- The accused in the Zephany' Nurse's court case at Cape High Court with her husband

Zephany kidnapper’s Mother’s Day regret

By Gadeeja Abbas Time of article published May 9, 2016

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Cape Town - The woman found guilty of kidnapping Zephany Nurse from the maternity ward at Groote Schuur Hospital when she was just two days old, regrets not being able to celebrate Mother’s Day with her family as she was incarcerated at Pollsmoor Prison.

The soft-spoken seamstress, who cannot be named to protect the new identity of Zephany, will be sentenced later this month after being found guilty kidnapping, fraud and contravening sections of the Children’s Act.

She spoke through her husband to express her love and commitment to the family who had supported her through the days of the gruelling trial in February before the Western Cape High Court.

While she faces a potential term of 10 years for one of the three charges she was found guilty of, the 51-year-old woman from Lavender Hill “misses her family terribly”, especially Zephany, who surprised her with breakfast-in-bed every Mother’s Day.

Her husband said: “For 17 years, we (had) a tradition of (doing) breakfast in bed every Mother’s Day my wife spent with Zephany. I would do the eggs, Zephany would do the toast, flowers and presents. She would also do the decorations.”

For the past two years, the woman was prohibited from making contact with Zephany. This was so that investigations could be completed for the trial to take place.

He said Zephany could not understand why she was not allowed to visit or interact with the woman who raised her for 19 years while she was awaiting sentencing.

The woman’s husband says Zephany always had a close relationship with his wife. “We would always thank her for being a wonderful mother.”

Zephany is currently living with the man who helped raise her.

He said his wife also raised her sisters and brothers, who, on Thursday, visited her in prison to wish her well. “It is always an emotional meeting, but they are glad to see her. She is doing well, she is on medication,” he said. “We are hoping for the best on March 30 when she will be sentenced.”

Zephany’s birth mother, Celeste Nurse, said she spent the day with her younger children and her family to “relax.”

Zephany was reunited with her biological parents almost two decades after she disappeared from her cot on April 30, 1997.

Her biological father, Morne Nurse, was prompted by his 17-year-old daughter, Cassidy, to speak to a girl who remarkably resembled her. He approached the Hawks, who investigated.

Through DNA testing, it was confirmed that Zephany was the same baby who disappeared 19 years ago.

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