Drug Mule returns to South Africa

Convicted South African drug mule Nolubabalo “Babsie” Nobanda will be arriving in South Africa on Thursday, according to news reports.  Nobanda was arrested at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport on December 12, 2011, after getting off a Qatar Airways flight.

Approximately 1.5 kg of cocaine, with an estimated street value of R 1,2 million, was found in her dreadlocks after police noticed a white substance in her hair. Nobanda told Thailand authorities that she had been hired to deliver the drugs to a customer at a hotel in Bangkok.

Initially sentenced to 30 years in prison, Nobanda’s sentence was first reduced to half and then by two and a half years in May. In August, Department of International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson Nelson Kgwete announced that Nobanda would be released from prison.  Another South African drug mule and friend of Nobanda’s, Thando Pendu, returned to South Africa in June this year after being released from the same prison.