Zephany Nurse and the case of her disappearance has captivated the whole of South Africa and people across the world.
Also known as South Africa's Madeleine McCann, Zephany Nurse is the name given her at birth by her biological mother, Celeste. But, the name she now uses has been concealed to protect her.
Celeste Nurse gave birth to Zephany Nurse on April 27th, 1997, by emergency C-section. She was only 18 years old. Three days later she was still recovering, heavily medicated and drowsy. Celeste encountered a woman who offered to soothe her baby for her.
The woman was wearing a nurse uniform.
She said, "The child was crying and there was a person sitting at the door. I couldn’t function properly because I was under medication."
She continued, "The woman said to me 'your baby is crying.' She asked me if she could pick up the child, I said she could and that’s all I can remember."
Celeste said she was later woken up by a different nurse. She said that this nurse was "frantically" asking her, "Where is your child?"
She added, "I said, 'the nurse was just here with the baby.' The two of us then ran through the hospital, along every floor, but the child was missing, nowhere to be found. She was gone, just gone."
She then broke down as she recalled how she chose the name Zephany Nurse for her new baby girl.
The woman accused of kidnapping Zephany Nurse said that she had several miscarriages. After her third miscarriage in December of 1996, she ran into a woman who called herself Sylvia at the hospital where she sought treatment. She said the woman claimed that she could help with fertility or adoption.
She paid Sylvia and began treatment. After the fertility treatments failed, the woman accused of kidnapping Zephany Nurse told the mystery woman that she was interested in adopting.
Earlier this week, the woman testified to the events, saying, “In April 1997 I received a call from her (Sylvia). She advised me a young girl was not interested in keeping her baby and wanted to give the baby up for adoption.”
They made arrangements to meet at the Wynberg train station.
When she arrived Sylvia was not there. However, another mystery woman approached her with a baby in her arms.
She said, “She informed me that the baby was from Sylvia. I was taken by surprise as I was expecting to meet Sylvia and not for a baby to be handed over to me.”
She continued, “I had a bad feeling something was wrong. She promised I would be present when the baby was born, and this did not happen. I sat on a bench at the hospital looking at the baby and had no idea what to do. I recall noticing a pin still attached to her umbilical cord. I thought about abandoning the baby at the hospital. I thought I did not tell my family about the miscarriage, so I decided I will tell them it was my baby.”
The accused woman has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping Zephany Nurse.
What do you think happened in the horrible tale of Zepahny Nurse?