Jean-Jacques Cornish

Zephany Nurse’s kidnapper jailed for ten years

A Cape Town  woman convicted of kidnapping Zephany Nurse from her cot in a maternity ward at South Africa’s famous Groote Schuur Hospital 19 years ago  has been jailed for 10 years.

The woman, who claimed she had bought the baby from another woman, had been found guilty of kidnapping, fraud and contravening sections of the Children’s Act .

ends intro.

South Africa’s Judge President John Hlophe says the crime was premeditated and too serious not to warrant a jail sentence.

The defence asked the court for leniency, arguing that the 52-year-old Lavender Hill seamstress was a first time offender in bad health.

The woman, who may not be named to avoid divulging the new identity of the abductee,  snatched Zephany Nurse from her mother’s hospital bedside.

The baby  had been born via caesarean section to Morne and Celeste Nurse.

Both testified in aggravation of sentence, saying their relationship with their daughter, raised by the accused, was non existent.

The parents’ 17-year search for their missing daughter finally ended when their younger biological daughter started high school at the same school as Zephany.

Classmates remarked on the sisters’ striking resemblance.

Morne Nurse contacted police and DNA tests revealed Zephany was his daughter.

Enquire about availability for radio, podcasts, reporting or opinion pieces.

Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.