- A 50-year-old woman is in court for kidnapping a baby in 1997
- The accused claims the mother of the baby gave her permission to take the baby away from the ward
- The mother of the baby denies claims by the kidnapper and says the woman appeared at her bed side while she was still weak from childbirth
A South African woman accused of kidnapping a two-day-old baby in 1997 has denied committing the offence.
At today’s hearing, the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge of kidnapping and fraudulently pretending to be the girl's biological mother after a nationwide search in 1997 failed to find her
Police say that 50-year-old woman who kidnapped the child from a world famous hospital in Cape Town city was arrested last year after she enrolled the child, named as Zephany Nurse, in a school.
Celeste and Morne Nurse, the parents of a similar-looking girl at the school, became suspicious and alerted police that led to DNA tests being conducted to prove that Zephany was their child.
Zephany had been living with the accused person near the home of Celeste and Morne Nurse in the Cape Flats, a mainly working class neighbourhood in Cape Town, when she was found last year.She had been living with the accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, near the home of Celeste and Morne Nurse in the Cape Flats, a mainly working class neighbourhood in Cape Town, when she was found last year. Zephany was placed in the care of social workers.
At court today, The BBC reports that Mrs Nurse broke down when she testified at the start of the trial. She recounted that Zephany was her first daughter whom she had at 18 via a caesarean section at Groote Schuur Hospital, where the world's first human transplant was done in 1967.
She denied allegations by the accused that she had given her permission to take her daughter from the ward. She added that she heard her baby crying, only to see a person dressed in maroon clothes standing by the door asking me if she could pick up the child. She added that she was in pain and under medication so she passed out and can’t seem to remember what had happened, only for the nurse to come asking her where her baby was.
Mrs. Nurse disclosed that they ran around looking for the child in every floor of the hospital but the baby was gone and was nowhere to be found.
The accused is expected to testify in her own defense in subsequent days as the trial continuous.