CCL Takes Media and Government to Court to Protect Zephany Nurse’s Identity

By Chelsea-Summer Lodewyk    08-Apr-2015 13:13 UTC+02:00
Newborn Zephany Nurse with biological mother Celeste Nurse. Pic:

Newborn Zephany Nurse with biological mother Celeste Nurse.
Pic: Pix11

The Centre for Child Law (CCL) along with 4 other organisations is taking 14 media houses and government institutions to court.

They have launched an urgent application to the courts, to temporarily prevent the media from revealing the real name of Zephany Nurse, who was was kidnapped from Groote Schuur Hospital, on the 30th April 1997 ,three days after she was born.

“Zephany Nurse” is the name her biological parents gave her.

Until now, the woman who kidnapped the 17-year-old was not allowed to be identified for the protection of the child, who is still regarded as a minor.

As luck would have it, Nurse was found after she unintentionally befriended her biological sister who happened to attend the same high school as her.

Nurse, who turns 18 at the end of the month has been reunited with her biological parents and siblings.

Ann Marie Skelton, advocate at the CCL said in her founding affidavit, “(Nurse) accordingly lives in fear of being identified in the media as this would destroy any chance of her living a normal life. If, when (Nurse) turns 18 at the end of April 2015, the media publishes her identity, the substantial harm that will result can never be undone or properly remedied.”

Jacques Louw, instructing attorney for Independent Media, one of the 14 respondents said, “Independent Newspapers has decided, for the time being, not to oppose the interim order and give limited undertakings to the victim. Once the applicants have filed their supplementary papers for the constitutional amendment, we will assess the matter further.”

The 50-year-old woman who kidnapped Zephany Nurse, has appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on charges of kidnapping, pretending to be a child’s biological mother and fraud.



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