The woman convicted of kidnapping
baby Zephany Nurse, while her mother slept, just days after giving birth, has been sentenced to ten years behind bars.
Judge John Hlophe said the crimes she had
committed were of a serious nature, but that he had taken her personal circumstances – such as her age, previously clean criminal record and chronic conditions – into consideration.
On March 10, Hlophe convicted the woman of kidnapping, fraud, and contravening the
Children’s Act. She maintained in her testimony that she had not been at Groote Schuur Hospital on the day Nurse was kidnapped in 1997.
The woman was arrested in February 2015 after the teenager’s true identity came to light when the girl’s biological sister Cassidy, who is four years younger, told her parents that a girl in matric at her school bore a striking resemblance to her and her parents.
DNA tests confirmed the teenager was Zephany. The kidnapper, however, said she got the baby from a woman called Sylvia, who had been giving her fertility treatment in 1997 after she had miscarried.
Sylvia apparently arranged for the baby to be handed to her at the Wynberg train station without her prior knowledge, she claimed.
Zephany, now 19, currently lives in Steenberg with the man she thought was her father.
The teenager was sent to a place of safety after the kidnapper’s arrest. She, however, opted to move back to the home in which she had lived and is understood to have a close bond with the kidnapper’s husband.