Cape Town - The woman accused of kidnapping Zephany Nursefrom Groote Schuur Hospital in 1997 was calm and composed when police cameknocking at her door a year ago, the Western Cape High
Hawks Warrant Officer Petro Coetzee testified that thewoman only showed emotion after being told that the teenager would not besleeping at home that night.
“Her exact words were: ‘Laat sy asseblief by my bly totalles verby is’ [Please let her stay with me until all this is over],” shesaid.
Coetzee was one of three police officers present when asearch warrant was executed on the family’s Lavender Hill home and the womanwas arrested, on February 25 2015.
She was testifying for the State during the trial of thewoman, who is charged with kidnapping, fraud, and contravening the Children'sAct. She has pleaded not guilty and may not be named to protect the girl'sidentity.
Coetzee said when they asked her whose child she had beenraising, the woman said it was her daughter and her husband was the father. Shesaid the child was born at a mobile maternity clinic in Retreat.
“She was shown records of the day in question and hername didn’t appear anywhere. She maintained that the baby had been born there.”
When asked if she had kidnapped the child, the accuseddid not answer the question, the officer said.
She said she had registered the birth when the child was 6in either Cape Town or Wynberg, Coetzee testified.
When the colonel leading the questioning told her thegirl had been registered in Malmesbury in 2003, the accused said this may havebeen the case as this correlated with the time her brother died.
Zephany was collected from school in Retreat that day andtaken to a place of safety for questioning.
When shown an age progression from a photo of her inhospital shortly after her birth, the teen recognised herself, she testified.
“She said, ‘That is exactly what I looked like in primaryschool’,” Coetzee recalled.
The matter came to light when the girl's biologicalsister, who is 4 years younger, told her parents that a matric girl at herschool bore a striking resemblance to her and her parents.
When the parents discovered the girl had the samebirthday as their missing child, they reported it to police. DNA testsconfirmed the teen was indeed their daughter.
The trial resumes on Monday.