The media was ordered out of courtroom 1 in the Western Cape High Court at the start of proceedings in the Zephany Nurse kidnap case on Tuesday.
State witness and biological father of Zephany Nurse, Morne Nurse, was expected to continue his testimony, but instead proceedings started with the in camera testimony of the child at the centre of the case.
The 19-year-old was kidnapped when she was just three-days-old on April 30, 1997. She had been born by caesarean to Morne and Celeste Nurse at Groote Schuur hospital on April 28.
The woman who raised her as her own was convicted of kidnapping, fraud and contravention of the Children’s Act in March.
She cannot be identified as that would reveal the identity she gave Zephany when she snatched her almost two decades ago.
The teenager has not been allowed contact with the woman she believed was her mother, but has been living with the kidnapper’s husband and the man she believed was her father.
On Monday, the biological parents testified in aggravation of sentence and described the emotional turmoil and devastating impact the kidnapping of their firstborn had on their family and marriage.
The couple waited four years before they had their second child. That child started high school at the same school as Zephany and when classmates remarked on their close resemblance, she informed her father.
He contacted the Hawks and the accused was arrested in February last year when DNA tests confirmed she was indeed the child they had been searching for.
Ann Skelton, from the Centre for Child Law, was in court representing the teenager.
– African News Agency (ANA)