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Zephany Nurse will reveal her identity 'on her own terms'

Celeste Nurse in hospital with Zephany before she was abducted.

Celeste Nurse in hospital with Zephany before she was abducted.

Published Aug 13, 2019

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Cape Town - Zephany Nurse will reveal her identity in a book to be published later this month, the Centre for Child Law said.

The book, which will be released on August 23, tells the story of her abduction from Groote Schuur Hospital as an infant and subsequent events from her own perspective.

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A draft order was made by Judge Peter Mabuse in the Gauteng High Court lifting the restriction on revealing the identity of the young mother who has been litigating under the initials KL on Tuesday morning.

The Centre For Child Law as well as Childline South Africa, Nicro and Media Monitoring Africa were co-applicants in the case.

"Zephany has made a conscious and informed decision to reveal her identity on her own terms. In her affidavit to the High Court she indicates that the protection of her identity (before and after she turned 18 years) was necessary and allowed her time to process the situation she was in and to heal. She is therefore grateful for the protection that the court order provided," the centre said on Tuesday, echoing the statement they released earlier this month when news of Zephany's court application was made public. 

“I am now in a place in my life where I wish, by virtue of my own informed and voluntary decision, to have prohibitions on the disclosure of my identity lifted,” Zephany said in an affidavit submitted to the court.

"The Centre’s stance on the protection of children’s identities remains. There should be default protection in the law of the identities of child victims, witnesses and offenders. This protection should extend to after the child turns 18  years. The  media should  make a court  application if they believe that revealing an identity is in the public interest," the centre said. 

The centre further cautioned that their case also involves other children as well. 

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"The court file contains the details of these child clients whose identities were never revealed. They were only made known to the courts to illustrate the positive impact of the protection of their identities.

"We are duty bound to continue to protect their identities and the Centre urges the media to respect their dignity and privacy, not attempt to publish their identities and await the judgment of the Constitutional Court," the centre said.

"We welcome the judgement and note that the approach followed is by an adult who has, in her own words opted to reveal her identity on her own terms having had some time to think through the issues and implications," William Bird, the director of Media Monitoring Africa, who were the 5th applicants in the case, said.

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"We are still waiting for judgment to be handed down in the con court on the other matter so its hard to say how it would impact, but we stand by the critical importance of ensuring that children’s rights are protected, especially vulnerable children."

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