Cape Town, South Africa (CNN)A South African teen kidnapped as a newborn and reunited with her parents this month is “broken” after her ordeal, her father says.
Zephany Nurse, who is now 17, was seized from a Cape Town hospital in 1997.
Since then, she has been raised by the woman who allegedly abducted her, authorities say.
In a strange twist, she lived in the same city as her biological parents, who admit she’s having a hard time adjusting to her new reality.
“She’s broken, and we’ll fix it,” said her father, Morne Nurse.
The 50-year-old woman accused of kidnapping her was freed on bail Friday after the government agreed she’s not a flight risk. The suspect is not allowed to contact potential witnesses, including the teen.
“We are very concerned with the well-being of the young woman,” Social Services Minister Albert Fritz said. “She’s taking on her last year of schooling. She’s doing very well. She’s a strong, assertive young woman, and it’s clear she was brought up in a good home.”
Fritz said his department is approaching the case with “extreme” sensitivity.
“We are concerned with the well-being of everyone involved, the young woman, her biological parents,” he said, “but also can’t forget about the father who believed she was his daughter.”