JOHANNESBURG — A woman in South Africa who kidnapped a baby 17 years ago and raised the child as her own has been granted bail.
The South African Press Association says the woman was granted bail with the magistrate saying she is not a flight risk, and has no previous convictions. She was arrested last week after the biological parents of the girl, Zephany Nurse, now a teenager, found her. The woman faces charges of kidnapping and fraudulently pretending to be the child’s biological mother, police said last week.
SAPA reported that Magistrate Mark Engel in Cape Town ordered the woman to make no contact with the girl.
Zephany was found after befriending her biological sister at school, not knowing they were related.
“I always had this feeling that Zephany was very close by,” mother Celeste Nurse told the Daily Mail.
Celeste also told the Daily Mail that she credits Zephany’s abductor with doing “a great job” of raising her.
“Zephany loves this woman dearly, she was a good mother to her,” Celeste said. “What she did was very wrong, they’ve been living a lie for the last 17 years, but I forgave her some time ago.”