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Zephany’s families reach agreement

Cape Town-150227. An astonishing coincidence has led to the discovery of Zephany Nurse – stolen from her mother’s arms in Groote Schuur Hospital as a newborn 17 years ago. A DNA test has confirmed that Zephany, now in matric at a Cape Town school, is the daughter of Celeste and Morné Nurse (who are seen here outside the Magistrate's Court after the hearing), who lost their three-day-old daughter when she was snatched from Celeste's arms in her hospital bed in April 1997. Now a 50-year-old woman has been arrested by the Hawks. She appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court today. reporter: Fatima Schroeder .Photo: jason boud

Cape Town-150227. An astonishing coincidence has led to the discovery of Zephany Nurse – stolen from her mother’s arms in Groote Schuur Hospital as a newborn 17 years ago. A DNA test has confirmed that Zephany, now in matric at a Cape Town school, is the daughter of Celeste and Morné Nurse (who are seen here outside the Magistrate's Court after the hearing), who lost their three-day-old daughter when she was snatched from Celeste's arms in her hospital bed in April 1997. Now a 50-year-old woman has been arrested by the Hawks. She appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court today. reporter: Fatima Schroeder .Photo: jason boud

Published Mar 6, 2015

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Johannesburg - The biological parents of a girl kidnapped from a Cape Town hospital 17 years ago have come to an agreement with the family that raised her, the Centre for Child Law said on Friday.

The agreement reflected the teenager's wishes about visits, birthdays, and special occasions and would not be made public, the centre said in a statement.

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The girl was kidnapped from Groote Schuur Hospital shortly after her birth while her mother was sleeping, on April 30, 1997.

The woman who allegedly took her may not be identified for the protection of the child, who is still regarded as a minor.

According to media reports she had suffered two miscarriages and took the girl as she did not want to return to her husband empty-handed. The woman and her husband raised their child as their own.

She appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate Court's on Friday on a charge of kidnapping, where she was granted R5000 bail and told to return to court on May 29.

The girl was found after her biological parents' second daughter, born four years after the disappearance, started grade eight at a school in Cape Town this year. Classmates kept telling her a girl in matric looked just like her. The two girls became friends and eventually the younger girl's father pretended he wanted to meet his daughter's new friend.

When he saw how similar the girls looked he approached the police. The older girl's parents could not show them any record of her birth. The biological parents got permission to have DNA tests taken, and confirmed her identity.

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While the story has drawn huge public interest, the 17-year-old wanted to live a normal life away from the public eye.

“She now asks that she be allowed to get on with her life, to maintain the relationships with her friends and family she has grown up with and to establish new relationships with her biological family in private,” the centre said.

“She will not be giving any interviews to the media.”

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Sapa

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