South African drug mule in Indonesia begs Zuma for help

2012-11-28 00:00

A DRUG mule from Kroonstad, Free State, who is in jail in Indonesia, yesterday pleaded from her cell for President Jacob Zuma to help her and another young South African.

The plea from Donja Preston (22) from the prison in Manado was that Zuma should help her and Riaan Stephens (20), from Meyerton, to serve their sentences in South Africa or to assist with the bail, which could amount to R20 million.

This comes after SA Police Service in Bloemfontein allegedly failed to act when Preston and Stephens informed them they were forced to fly with drugs to Indonesia.

Preston — who was locked up five months ago with Stephens for being in possession of drugs — said they have had little assistance from the South African government.

“I am terribly frightened. I really do not know what will happen.

“I fear that I will never again see my mother or my child,” she said.

The R200 that her pensioned mother last month scraped together to send to Preston through the Department of International Relations and Co-operation, has still not reached her.

When she heard yesterday that her little girl, Amor (one), has chickenpox, Preston could only sob: “My child … I miss her terribly.”

She said she and Stephens had spent the past five months in adjacent cells, sleeping on lengths of plank which serve as beds for inmates.

Preston said Stephens’ brother, who is the father of Amor, had coerced both of them into becoming drug mules through a Nigerian drug syndicate in Alberton.

Preston said two Nigerian men, Martin and Ben, threatened to kill her, her child and her family if she did not fly with drugs to Indonesia.

She said she was also assaulted and throttled by her former boyfriendshortly before her flight.

“I have so much regret. Ask the president to forgive us. He must help us,” she said.

Preston had sent an e-mail to the police in Benoni to appoint her mother, Margaret, as Amor’s legal guardian.

Margaret, who struggles to come out on her pension, was recently hospitalised for a nervous breakdown.

She blamed the crime intelligence unit in Bloemfontein for the mess her daughter is in.

Margaret said they had informed the acting station commander of the unit in Bloemfontein before Donja’s flight that she was being made to carry drugs, and they did nothing.

Margaret said the acting commander did not think it was important enough. Her tears ran freely when she talked about Amor and said she would tell her what her father had done.

Donja and Stephens’s trial date in Indonesia has not been set.

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