Cape Town - The family of the woman who stole baby Zephany Nurse from Groote Schuur Hospital in 1997 have gone silent over claims the 19-year-old is pregnant.
Neither her biological parents nor the husband of the woman convicted of stealing her - who cannot be named to protect Zephany’s new identity - would say anything after shock media reports on Friday.
Zephany’s biological parents have been in court for the trial of the woman who kidnapped her from Groote Schuur Hospital when she was three days old on April 30, 1997.
The woman, a 52-year-old seamstress from Lavender Hill, is to be sentenced in the Western Cape High Court on Monday.
The woman claimed in court she bought Zephany from another woman, Sylvia, at a train station in Wynberg in 1997. Closing arguments were delivered this week.
On Friday The New Age newspaper reported Zephany was pregnant.
They quoted the accused’s sister, saying the “pregnancy was not expected but it will be a blessing for the family”.
While the report mentioned the sister’s name, a court order has prohibited journalists from revealing Zephany’s testimony or details of the family that raised her.
The sister reportedly told that newspaper the baby’s father was “(Zephany’s) boyfriend, who has been in a relationship with her for some time”.
“We recently discovered that she is pregnant. She has been to a doctor who confirmed she was pregnant,” the woman reportedly said. “It was not planned and it is not what we wanted for her at this stage, but it is a blessing and we accept it.”
She is quoted further: “We will not hide this pregnancy, it is something that cannot be hidden.
“It is enough that the teen (Zephany) was a secret for 17 years. This child will not be hidden.”
But when Weekend Argus contacted the kidnapper’s family on Friday, her husband said it was “not easy to talk about this now”.
“It’s something difficult for me. It’s already out in the open.
“I will discuss it with my daughter,” he said. After speaking to his sister-in-law, he said they would “talk when we are ready”.
The pregnancy was also reported on Friday by You magazine’s website, under a headline saying Zephany was “going to be a mother”.
It reported a “source within the family circle confirmed the news to You this morning”.
“When asked about it, Zephany’s biological mother Celeste (Nurse) did not have any knowledge of her daughter’s pregnancy,” it added.
Weekend Argus contacted the Nurses, but they did not respond to a request for comment.
On Monday, High Court Judge President John Hlope is set to hand down sentencing for the woman found guilty of kidnapping Zephany. She was also found guilty of fraud and contravention of sections of the Children’s Act in March this year.
The woman had told the court she suffered a miscarriage before someone gave her a baby whose mother did not want to raise a child.