A baby who was stolen from the arms of her sleeping mother shortly after birth, has been found 17 years after the incident.
The discovery was made after pupils noticed a remarkable likeness between the 17-year-old and her younger biological sister who started attending the same school this year.
Local South African media reported that DNA tests have confirmed that the older girl is the daughter of Celeste and Morne Nurse, who was snatched from Groote Schuur hospital as a three-day-old baby named Zephany in April 1997.
Zephany grew up with a different name, and a different family, never knowing she was not their real daughter.
But last month her biological sister, Cassidy Nurse, started high school at the same school as Zephany, and fellow pupils noticed a startling resemblance she bore to a final-year student.
Cassidy told her parents about the girl and they invited her home. They saw the striking resemblance between the girls and contacted the police.
South African police said on Friday that a 50-year-old woman has been arrested and charged with kidnapping.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut was quoted as saying:“The suspect is being charged with kidnapping, fraud and contravening sections… of the Children’s Act, in that she fraudulently pretended that she was the biological mother of a child,” Traut said.
“The kidnapped girl has since been placed in the care of the Department of Social Services of the Western Cape Government.”