Drug mule suspects: Three South African women in African jails after airport arrests

2011-12-29 00:00

THREE more South African women are in foreign jails for the festive season for allegedly acting as drug mules.

In Nigeria a single mother from South Africa was arrested on Christmas eve for drug smuggling. This after she had reportedly voided her bowels of 55 sealed packets of tik in front of customs officials.

Two other women were arrested in Harare and Maputo.

Fikile “Happy-Girl” Nene (38) was on her way home to South Africa after she had visited a friend in Malaysia.

In the departure hall of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos she started experiencing cramps. Almost collapsing from the pain, she begged that airport security officers get her to a doctor.

A scan confirmed that she had swallowed packets of drugs.

She said she had been persuaded in Malaysia to smuggle 700 grams of crystal methamphetamine, or tik, from Benin, which borders Nigeria.

In a statement she said she had agreed to smuggle the packets of drugs because she hoped that it would ensure a better life for her 19-year-old daughter in South Africa, reports the Daily Sun.

The drugs were delivered to Nene’s hotel room in Cotonou, Benin.

She said her desire to give her daughter “the best education” got her involved in drug trafficking.

“It was my first time and I was scared to death,” reads Nene’s statement.

A spokesperson for the the International Relations and Co-operation Department, Clayson Monyela, said yesterday the South African embassy in Nigeria would soon meet Nene.

He said his department had already spoken to her daughter and was organising a meeting with Nene, “which should take place within the next 24 hours”.

“The aim of the meeting is to support Nene, but South Africa will not interfere with the legal processes in the case.”

Monyela said that if any South Africans broke the law in another country they would be subject to that country’s laws.

He said his department would only get involved in a case if a death penalty was passed on a South African, because the death penalty is unconstitutional in this country.

Two other South Africans were arrested abroad, allegedly with drugs in their possession, Sapa reports.

Promise Mpala (26) was arrested on Christmas eve at the Maputo international airport on her way from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

In Harare a South African woman will appear in court after two kilograms of cocaine were reportedly discovered in her possession at the international airport in the Zimbabwe capital.

She was on her way from South Africa to India when she was arrested on December 15. Four fake passports were allegedly found in her possession. Her friends alleged that she smuggled drugs for a South African drug lord who recruited drug mules from Rosettenville and Turffontein in Johannesburg, reports Sapa.

Monyela could not confirm the Maputo and Harare arrests, but said his department was investigating the reports.

He said the country in which the South African was arrested must officially notify his department, whereupon International Relations officials would apply to visit them.



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