Drug mule must expose her handlers

Nolubabalo ‘Babsie’ Nobanda, left, can use her experience to help fight the drug scourge, the writer says.
Nolubabalo ‘Babsie’ Nobanda, left, can use her experience to help fight the drug scourge, the writer says.
Image: Supplied

It was sad to watch as relatives of drug mule Nolubabalo "Babsie" Nobanda emotionally welcomed her back home yesterday after she spent eight years in a Thai prison.

Nobanda made headlines across the world when she was arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok in 2011, with cocaine mixed with baking powder.

The drugs were woven into her faux dreadlocks.

At the time, she told authorities that she had been hired to deliver the drugs to a customer at a hotel in the Asian city.

The 31-year-old was initially sentenced to 30 years in prison, which was later commuted to a 15-year sentence. But she spent only eight years behind bars, as she was granted amnesty by the Thai king last month.

She had left SA for Brazil with a friend, where they went to pick up the substance. Nobanda has claimed to have taken the trip believing that she was going to work in a shoe shop in the South American country.

She should be accepted and integrated back into society because she served the time in prison paying for her crime, and even went further to obtain a university degree during that period to better her life.

However, as much as we believe in second chances, now is the right time for Nobanda to tell local authorities who recruited her to be a mule.

This will assist the police to arrest some of the people behind drug trafficking and clean out criminals in our communities.

She has been quoted speaking against drug peddlers: "This is such a personal experience for me and I want to join hands with those that want to solve this drug problem in our society because this is not a problem that can be solved by one individual."

We call on you to lead the way by reporting your traffickers and, in turn, you will be saving the next girl who would have fallen into the same trap of believing she would make a quick buck, only to end up in a foreign prison.

As you pledged, help us fight the drug scourge. Many kids and adults are addicts because somebody lured them into the world of drugs.

Help save a life and prevent more families from dealing with the burden of an addict or the pain of seeing a loved one being locked up or killed for carrying drugs in a foreign country.

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