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Zephany’s parents speak out over drained, stressed relationship after reunion

Celeste Nurse today told the court that she used to see Zephany regularly but now they barely speak.

FILE: Celeste Nurse leaves the Western Cape High Court after the woman who kidnapped her biological daughter Zephany was found guilty on 10 March 2016. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The biological parents of kidnapped Zephany Nurse today described the strained relationship they've had with their daughter since being reunited.

Sentencing proceedings against a Lavender Hill woman convicted of kidnapping a three-day-old Zephany, in the late 90s, got underway in the Western Cape High Court today.

Morne and Celeste Nurse became emotional as they recollected the hardship their family had gone through for almost 18 years, as they searched for their child.

Celeste said she contemplated committing suicide after her child was snatched from her arms while she slept.

She said her relationship with her biological daughter remains strained.

Zephany's biological mother told the court she used to see her daughter regularly after they were reunited with her - now, they barely speak.

The convicted kidnapper could be seen staring straight ahead, avoiding eye contact with the woman who gave birth to the child she raised for 17 years.

Zephany's biological father admitted he is emotionally drained from the 19-year saga of losing his daughter, finding her and now being estranged from her.

While testifying in aggravation of sentence, he broke down and sobbed uncontrollably.

Nurse told the court he initially blamed his wife for falling asleep instead of watching their infant.

He said the kidnapping and subsequent reunion with his long lost daughter has been a roller coaster ride that's having a devastating effect on his life.

Nurse admitted he has no relationship with his first born and says he has had enough of the saga.

The matter continues tomorrow.

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