Zephany Nurse case: Accused adamant it was a ‘legal adoption’

She has denied snatching the child from her sleeping mother's arms at Groote Schuur Hospital in 1997.

FILE: Zephany Nurse's mother, Celeste, makes her way to the Western Cape High Court. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The woman accused of kidnapping Zephany Nurse maintains she thought it was a legal adoption.

The Lavender Hill resident, who raised Zephany as her own until the discovery last year that she was kidnapped in 1997, is currently on trial in the Western Cape High Court.

She has denied snatching the child from her sleeping mother's arms at Groote Schuur hospital.

The accused stuck to her story during cross examination by the State today, insisting she thought she had legally adopted Zephany.

The Lavender Hill resident, however, received the child at Wynberg Train Station in 1997 from a woman only known as 'Sylvia'.

She maintains she thought it was legal as she had already signed alleged adoption papers, and expected to sign more documents on the day she received the apparent adopted baby.

She says she was under the impression she'd be meeting 'Sylvia' to further discuss the adoption process.

The 51-year-old claims to have first met 'Sylvia' at Tygerberg Hospital in 1996.

She says the woman promised to help her with fertility problems and adoption.

But the State has accused her of 'ordering' the child and paying R3,000 for Zephany in April 1997.

Another witness, Groote Schuur Hospital nurse Gertude Hanslo, told the court she can't remember the identity of the woman she had seen in the hospital on that day.

Cross-examination of the accused continues tomorrow.