Cocaine smuggling accused’s mom cancels Bangkok trip

2012-06-18 07:11

The mother of a South African woman accused of smuggling cocaine in her dreadlocks to Thailand has cancelled her trip to Bangkok over security and health fears.

Nolubabalo “Babsie” Nobanda of Grahamstown, in the Eastern Cape, was arrested at the Bangkok International Airport in December last year for allegedly attempting to smuggle cocaine from Brazil to Thailand.

Police found 1.5kg of cocaine with an estimated street value of R1.2 million in her dreadlocks. She admitted to authorities that she smuggled the drugs, and said she was hired to deliver the cocaine to a customer at a hotel in Bangkok. Since then she has been detained in prison.

Yesterday, her mother Honjiswa Mbewu said she had cancelled her plans.

Neither she nor the legal advisor would be travelling to Bangkok to attend the judgement today.

“I had to cancel my journey to that country because my doctor has indicated that I suffer from acute stress and may not be fit to travel,” she said.

Her safety was another reason for cancelling the trip.

“The syndicate which led Nobanda to Brazil had not yet been arrested by the South African authorities.”

She also received threatening comments on social networking site Facebook.

“Some people are even posting scary stuff on Facebook, which is an indication that it is not safe for me to travel to Thailand.”

Mbewu said the South African embassy in Thailand had contacted her.

“They said South African diplomats would be present in court on Monday to observe the court proceedings and would give feedback to the family.”

Nobanda would be represented by a Bangkok state lawyer. Her sentencing was due to be handed down today.

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