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#ZephanyNurse: ‘Judgment was in the interest of justice’

A 51-year old Lavender Hill woman was found guilty of abducting Zephany Nurse in 1997.

Celeste Nurse shares embraces with friends and family members after the woman who kidnapped her biological daughter Zephany was found guilty on 10 March 2016. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN
Zephany Nurse,Zephany Nurse kidnapper
Local

CAPE TOWN - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in the Western Cape has welcomed the guilty verdicts handed to the woman who abducted Zephany Nurse almost two decades ago.

The three-day-old baby was taken from her sleeping mother’s arms at Groote Schuur hospital in 1997.

The woman raised the child as her own and has now been found guilty of kidnapping, fraud and contravening sections of the Children’s Act.

The NPA’s Eric Ntabazalila says, “The judgment was in the interest of justice, to ensure that [if] you commit a crime, you pay for the crime. I am sure it was in the interest of the child as well; I am sure nobody would like to live that type of life.”

The accused has maintained her innocence throughout the trial and has insisted she thought she had legally adopted Zephany, with the help of a woman known only as Sylvia.

Judge John Hlophe labelled the Lavender Hill resident’s claim that she thought she had legally adopted Zephany Nurse for R3,000 as a ‘fairy tale’.

Hlophe said the woman should have known the adoption process was flawed when she received the three-day old child at a train station.

He exclaimed it does not take rocket science to know that’s not how you adopt a baby.

The judge also found the testimony placing the convicted kidnapper at Groote Schuur Hospital on the day of the abduction was accurate.

He said the woman who raised Nurse missed a golden opportunity to come clean when she was approached by the authorities for the first time last year.

At the time she maintained the girl was her biological child.

WATCH: Zephany Nurse: Justice after 19 years

ZEPHANY WILL SUFFER WITHOUT THE WOMAN SHE CALLS ‘MOTHER’

Family and friends of the woman convicted of kidnapping Zephany Nurse expressed anger outside court this afternoon.

The sisters and friends of the convicted kidnapper shouted menacingly at the media, while everyone rushed to talk to the woman’s husband.

They were visibly upset and mumbled that Zephany is going to suffer without the woman she calls her mother.

Earlier this week, the teenager put out a statement in which she spoke against media saying her privacy, and that of her loved ones, had been violated.

She pleaded with the media to stop hurting her with what she calls lies because she is trying to structure her life.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)

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