But on Tuesday night, 23-year-old Nobanda, who is originally from Grahamstown, was in a Thai jail where she may spend the rest of her life. She is the second South African drug mule to make international headlines this week.
On Monday, Janice Linden, 36, was executed in China. Linden was put to death for attempting to smuggle 3kg of tik (crystal methamphetamine) through Baiyun International Airport in China three years ago.
Nobanda was arrested after Thai customs officials noticed white powder in her hair. She arrived in Bangkok on a Qatar Airways flight from São Paulo in Brazil via Doha. She had cocaine wrapped in plastic packets and concealed in her synthetic dreadlocks that were attached with black yarn.
She told officials that she was meant to hand the drugs over to someone at a hotel in Bangkok. From there she was supposed to fly back to SA, where she would receive a payment of about $1,900.
Police found 1.5 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated street value of $150, 000 hidden in her dreadlocks.
She admitted to smuggling the drugs and said she was hired to deliver the cocaine to a customer at a Bangkok hotel.
Her family says they are shocked and disgraced.
I’m only mad at this chick because she is going to have these flash light security cops messing up our fabulous hair weaves claiming to be searching for drugs. And why would she let them put WHITE powder wrapped in CLEAR plastic in her hair. I mean come on it should of at least been wrapped in black plastic..
Video footage at Bangkok’s international Suvarnabhumi Airport, where the woman is being detained, show authorities separating the drugs from what appears to be artificial locks, tied into Nolubabalo’s natural hair with yarn.
This video is very sad. She is embarassed of course and knows she has ruined her life for some small change. What’s even sadder is that the world keeps it’s citizens very poor but tremendously punishes them for crimes of not greed but just trying to get money to live.