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Zephany Nurse: Minors should have default protection says Centre for Child Law

Celeste Nurse in hospital with Zephany before she was abducted.

Celeste Nurse in hospital with Zephany before she was abducted.

Published Aug 7, 2019


Cape Town - Zephany Nurse, who was reunited with her biological family after she was kidnapped as a baby, wants an interdict protecting her new identity to be lifted so that she can publish a book telling her story.

The book is due to be released this month. Zephany, now 22, was snatched from Groote Schuur Hospital when she was three-days old.

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In 2015 the high court in Pretoria ordered that the media cannot publish any details that could identity her.

The Centre for Child Law spearheading litigation to obtain an interdict and the centre’s Ann Skelton said the court order was aimed at protecting the child known as Zephany.

The Centre for Child Law also wanted to see legislation changed that would see the identities of minors in criminal proceedings protected, even after they turned 18.

However, for Zephany to share her story with the world she needs that name restriction to be lifted.

The Centre for Child Law said it noted reports about Zephany Nurse’s application to the high court to have the court order protecting her identity lifted.

“Zephany made a conscious and informed decision to reveal her identity, and feels ready to share that aspect of her life on her own terms,” it said.

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“She notes in her affidavit that the protection of her identity (before and after she turned 18) was necessary in order to process the ordeal and heal.

“She is therefore grateful for the opportunity that the protection provided. The centre’s stance on the protection of children’s identities remains.

“There should be a default protection in the law of the identities of child victims, witnesses and offenders.

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“This protection should extend to after the child turns 18. The media should make a court application, if they believe that revealing an identity is in the public interest. We await the judgment from the Constitutional Court in this regard,” the centre said.


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Cape Argus

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