The Zephany Nurse Case

I first heard about the Zephany Nurse case last week when the story broke. A young girl, who had been kidnapped over 17 years ago from Groote Schuur hospital in Cape Town, was found because she had befriended her biological younger sister at their local high school. It is one of those stories of coincidence that would lack credibility in a feature film.
Yesterday I was among a big group of media outside the Cape Town Magistrates court covering the alleged kidnappers court appearance for AFP. Zephany Nurse’s biological parents also attended. This family had hoped and prayed for their daughters return for nearly two decades, celebrating her birthday-in-absentia with a cake. Now they had to see the kidnap suspect in court with the world’s media watching.

After the accused was granted R5000 bail, both Zephany’s biological father, Morné Nurse, and her biological grandfather, Adam Nurse, composed themselves in front of the swelling cluster of microphones, cameras and mobile phones.
Morné Nurse: “Look, the only hope I had came alive and that’s all I can say. I’m over the moon, I’m very happy, extremely happy. My daughter is back and that is it.”
Journalist Question: “Is she not torn apart by this?”
Morné Nurse: “Look, she’s broken and we’ll fix it.”

Journalist Question: “You say your family does not hate the accused who is before the court. Why do you say this?”
Adam Nurse: “There is no hate. Because we are Christians, we have learnt over the years that we must not hate. We must even pray for those that hate us, that is why we do not know how to hate.”

This family has been going through so much, and seemed to manage to resist bitterness.
Forgiveness, even the consideration of it, is powerful stuff.


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