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#ZephanyNurse trial: Judgment expected today

The High Court is expected to hand down judgment in the trial of the woman accused of abducting Nurse.

Zephany Nurse's biological father, Morne, arrives at the Western Cape High Court on 25 February 2016. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN
Zephany Nurse,Zephany Nurse kidnapper,Groote Schuur hospital,Zephany father Morne
Local

CAPE TOWN – Zephany Nurse’s biological family may find some closure today.

The Western Cape High Court is expected to hand down judgment in the trial of the woman accused of abducting Nurse when she was a baby in the late 1990s.

The Lavender Hill woman has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, fraud and contravening sections of the Children’s Act.

The Nurse family has received overwhelming support from relatives throughout court proceedings.

But biological mother Celeste’s mother Marylin Francis, said her daughter has been severely affected by the trial.

“She was sick after that, she had to testify because these things affected her because all the old wounds opened up again.”

She said they were excited when her granddaughter was found, but reveals the 18-year-old does not have a relationship with her biological family.

“She actually blocked us all due to the case, this stolen mother.” [sic]

Francis said they remain hopeful their relationship will improve once court proceedings conclude.

PROSECUTION CONFIDENT

The prosecution said there is enough evidence to convict the accused. 

Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe said the evidence against the accused is overwhelming.

The State has argued the Lavender Hill resident’s behaviour was indicative of someone who had stolen a child when she did not come clean about the alleged adoption at the time of her arrest.

The prosecution added three witnesses testified a suspicious woman posed as a nurse at Groote Schuur Hospital on the day the baby was snatched.

One witness identified the woman as the accused.

Defence advocate Reaz Khan has argued there’s insufficient evidence to prove his client kidnapped the child from the hospital when she was three-days-old.

At the same time, Zephany’s biological father said they are relieved that the trial is almost over.

Morne Nurse spoke outside court on Tuesday.

“We are quite happy as a family and we will have to wait for judgment.”

Meanwhile, the accused’s husband said he’ll stand by his wife regardless of the outcome of tomorrow’s judgment. 

Her husband, who may not be identified to protect the girl’s identity, said he will stay strong for his wife’s sake.

“I’m not prepared for a guilty… It would devastate us; my daughter and my wife. It will break up our happy family, it would really destroy us.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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