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Zephany Nurse's kidnapper urged to confess to kidnapping

The 52-year-old Lavender Hill woman was sentenced to 10 years behind bars yesterday.

FILE: Zephany Nurse’s kidnapper. Picture: Giovanna Gerbi/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Offender reintegration NGO Nicro says the woman who kidnapped Zephany Nurse will be rehabilitated faster once she confesses.

The 52-year-old Lavender Hill woman was sentenced to 10 years behind bars yesterday for stealing three-day-old Zephany from her sleeping mother's arms at Groote Schuur Hospital in 1997.

In handing down sentence, Western Cape High Court Judge John Hlophe told the kidnapper she betrayed Zephany for many years.

Hlophe also told the kidnapper her biggest downfall was that she did not confess or show remorse.

Nicro's Arina Smit says the kidnapper is going to have to understand the nature of her crime.

"Remorse is one aspect of rehabilitation and with the circumstances of the crime, if the person doesn't believe they've done the crime, then it's quite difficult for the person to understand the crime committed."

Smit says if rehabilitation goes well, the kidnapper may be considered for parole in four years.

In May, the woman said she never stole Zephany. The kidnapper said she thought it was a legal adoption.

The 51-year-old said she was never at Groote Schuur Hospital and that a woman, known only as Sylvia, helped her adopt after she struggled to conceive.

But during trial, she could offer no proof of adoption or Sylvia's existence.