Ordinary Capetonians feel justice has prevailed in the case of a Lavender Hill woman convicted of stealing Zephany Nurse in 1997 from Groote Schuur hospital. The 51 year old woman was found guilty in the Cape high court on Thursday, in a verdict handed down by Judge John Hlophe.
Although the Nurse family is happy with the verdict, the convicted woman’s family now faces the reality of her prison sentence and the heartbreak of discovering Zephany was never their biological daughter. Zephany herself faces a huge internal conflict as she is torn between two families.
“I feel sorry for the lady that kidnapped the baby, maybe she was traumatized and desperate…if she did not hurt the child and was not abusive towards her then she deserves some leniency. They should not be too hard on her,” said Saafia Adonis.
Chantel Scheepers said: “It is very unfair that she is getting sentenced because at the end of the day, people will not take care of children that are not theirs. She never turned out to be a drug addict or an alcoholic. She still turned out to be a person a mother would expect her daughter to be.”
Those who were in favour of the verdict asserted their view that the accused was wrong as she selfishly stole the happiness of Zephany’s parents, which consequently resulted in a traumatic search for their loved one.
A lady who passed by, whilst cradling her own baby, stated that she was happy for the biological mother as she is going to be re-united with her daughter.
“It will really break my heart if someone stole my baby out of the hospital,” Faeeka Samuels stated.
A mother of four said “justice needed to be served”. The right for her to have raised her child was taken away. Regardless of the fact that Zephany was given a good life, it does not make up for the fact that the same right got taken away from Celeste Nurse.
A local customer felt that the accused showed no remorse and agreed that the woman got what she deserved.
It has been reported that Zephany does not want to live by her biological parents as she is familiar with the surroundings she grew up in.
“How do you choose between your biological parents who are strangers to you and a couple who brought you up as their own. It is not easy to fathom the fact that you have been lied to your whole life, and the people you thought were your parents are now labeled criminals,” said Natheer Simons.
Cedrick Williams added: “They should hear what the girl Zephany has to say. She should also give her input, she lived through the whole situation.”
A mother and son on the street agreed that the accused is not a threat to society therefore community service should be an option.
In order to help Zephany who is now feeling lost, perhaps the accused should be punished but not imprisoned for a long period of time, said a woman who asked not to be named.
“Zephany was given a good life, so good that she never doubted that the couple raising her was her own parents,” she said.
VOC (Quaanita Satardien]