South African baby snatcher sentenced to 10 years in prison

When Celeste and Morne Nurse met their daughter’s new schoolfriend, they were struck by the uncanny resemblance between the two girls.

Could this stranger be their older daughter who was kidnapped almost a decade earlier?

A DNA test revealed it was.

On Thursday, the woman who kidnapped the couple’s daughter, Zephany Nurse, as an infant from a Cape Town hospital on April 30, 1997, was sentenced to 10 years prison.

Neither the abductor’s name, nor the name Zephany grew up with, has been revealed in order to protect the girl’s identity.

Now 19, Zephany was abducted when she was three days old from Groote Schuur Hospital.

The abductor wore clothes similar to the hospital staff uniform, and took Zephany while her mother slept following a cesarean.

The woman raised Zephany as her own child for the next 17 years, never revealing the truth to either her husband or the young girl.

“The irreparable emotional, physical and psychological trauma experienced and still being experienced by biological parents and their [respective] families is unfathomable,” prosecutor Evadne Kortje told Western Cape High Court. “The accused has a lack of empathy towards all the victims of the crimes in this matter and she shows a lack of insight in failing to appreciate that she is not the victim in this matter.”