12th South African bust for drugs

2011-12-13 14:30

Johannesburg - The woman who was arrested in Thailand for hiding cocaine in her dreadlocks was the 12th South African to be caught for drug trafficking in that country this year, according to a report on Tuesday.

"I can confirm that she has been arrested and we've arranged to see her," South Africa's ambassador to Thailand, Douglas Gibson, told SABC radio news.

He said the usual arrangement was to wait for the arrested person to be transferred to prison and then officials would be allowed to see them.

Nolubabalo Nobanda, 23, was searched on Monday when police said they noticed a white substance in her hair shortly after she stepped off a Qatar Airways flight that originated in Sao Paulo and flew through Qatar to Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Police found 1.5kg of cocaine with an estimated street value of $150 000 hidden in her dreadlocks.

She apparently admitted to smuggling the drugs and said she had been hired to deliver the drugs to a customer at a hotel in Bangkok.

  • Mlungisi - 2011-12-13 14:41

    Damn.....still they don't learn

      John - 2011-12-13 15:18

      Who is the bozo that does not agree with Mlungisi and Leah

      Christina - 2011-12-13 15:39

      very true, they never i mean they will never learn. i wish all the young ladies can go to school and learn. so that they can earn an honest living. quick buck means quick death. life is too precious to risk it.

      Sheik - 2011-12-13 19:12

      The scary part is that someone this stupid can vote.

      Timothy - 2011-12-14 03:15

      I live in Bangkok Thailand. The way it works over here is that she is probably looking at a life sentence in a Thai prision, which bydaway is much worse than a south african prision. She does however have a slim chance to go free or get transferred to SA. The Thai kings birthday is on Dec6 he is known to handout royal pardons to x amount of people each year. She would need to apply for one and then play the waiting game. Will be interesting to see how this one plays out. All the best! - 2011-12-14 09:47

      If I were her and don't make it. I would ask my ashes to be scattered all over South Africa as a rememberence that drugs are not good so others can learn

      masibiya1 - 2011-12-14 10:08

      Nobanda went to Victoria Girls High School in Grahamstown which is considered to be a very good "Model C" school, why she would become a drug mule is beyond me, but she should have known better

      John - 2011-12-14 10:15

      Hey Timothy, I also live here. I hope you are right, at least she has a great ambassador Doug Gibson who will do his utmost best for her. I know him from Cape Town days when he was the chief whip for the DA. He does an outstanding job here and a great person as well. If she gets life and waits for a pardon it will be another year in a not so lekker overcrowded Jail

      John - 2011-12-14 10:31

      Hey Timothy, I also live here. I don't condone drug smuggling and she deserves what she gets. Having said that, she is very lucky to have one of the best ambassadors to plead her case, Douglas Gibson, apart from being a great person, I know him from the old CT days when he was the chief whip for the opposition (DA). He is very well connected here and does an outstanding job.

      Timothy - 2011-12-14 11:04

      Hi John where abouts in Thailand do you live? You are right we have a great ambassador in Mr Gibson.He does a great job over here

  • Leah - 2011-12-13 14:47

    She should have gone blonde for the day!

      Ig - 2011-12-13 15:41

      Difficult with screw-in hair!!!

      MoAfrika - 2011-12-13 15:58

      or maybe put a scarf over her head like a fashion statement.

      Lara - 2011-12-13 18:32

      She was on a dreadlock holiday.

      Valentina - 2011-12-13 19:17

      she was probably a blond to begin with

      brionyl.french - 2011-12-14 05:29

      MAYBE SHE SHOULDNT HAVE DONE IT!!!! i completely agree with timothy though, We all know its bad that side, Gees when i flew to Australia, they warn you if your stopping in Singapore DONT LEAVE YOUR BAGS!!! its bad in tha asian parts

      OSSY24 - 2011-12-14 08:12

      take it to the head

      modmario - 2011-12-14 09:04


  • Anthony - 2011-12-13 14:49

    easy money go to jail.

  • Esperanca - 2011-12-13 14:57

    I am sure this is how the Nigerians started - at this rate we will get to those numbers. SA will be known for all the wrong reasons :(, how sad.

      Sheik - 2011-12-13 20:54

      From Honeymoon hits, Drug mules, one rape a minute you want it, we've got it. What happened to Braai vleis, sunny skies and Chevrolet. Sorry I forgot, ....Government change!

  • Kala - 2011-12-13 15:02

    Why are these drug smuggling stories suddenly appearing in the news. Apparently 400 South Africans were arrested in various countries around the world this year. Most of them for drug smuggling offences. If they are tring to garnish sympathy then the ain't getting any from me. There is no such thing as making an easy buck.

  • simthembile.hintsa - 2011-12-13 15:09

    funny how if it fails it’s stupid and if it succeeds it’s hustling.....women and easy money!!!!

      Heiku - 2011-12-13 16:05

      That's not funny. Is 1 + 1 = 2 funny to you?

  • Deon - 2011-12-13 15:10

    How many ministers or ministers wives also smuggle drugs. That is why they don't want customs to search their bags.

  • Thozi - 2011-12-13 15:11

    Another pending execution, what a way to go - all or nothing. Well, like I always say, "they wanted it, let them have it".

      MoAfrika - 2011-12-13 16:02

      she is just a sardine in this case, they must use her to get to the main shark, the shark will most likely go for another person, this must be dealt with from the route.

      nonhlanhla.mlotshwa1 - 2011-12-14 09:49

      Better to kill one than the future of our generation

  • Roy - 2011-12-13 15:18

    What the f--- is wrong with these people? Can they be so desperate to earn money and then when caught plead that they did not know it was in there luggage etc. They should all be treated the way that the woman in China was treated,death penalty. There is no excuse for dealing in drugs because it effects thousands of other people.

      Wes - 2011-12-13 16:52

      Well this one can say I never knew it was in my dreads I just had them done and they told me this is the new look it bulks it out to look trendy.

  • braamc - 2011-12-13 15:25

    If you an ANC politician charter a plane, no worries with jail time etc

      jowza1 - 2011-12-13 15:36

      braam,i think you have lost the plot

  • Gregory Jurgens - 2011-12-13 15:30

    Any one want to buy some coke.

      jowza1 - 2011-12-13 15:36


      Sheik - 2011-12-13 19:05

      Prefer Pepsi

  • Michelle - 2011-12-13 15:30

    Don't these people learn from others' mistakes? Just yesterday there was a furore over a drugmules' execution. So waar as wragtig, another one today!!! Is the payoff too enticing or are they just as stubborn as mules???

  • Sithando - 2011-12-13 15:31

    That woman is poor Zuma intervene and bring her home.

      Vicker - 2011-12-13 16:57

      So it is ok to wreck 100's of lives just because you are POOR ??? I think Zoomer must intervene on your behalf Sithando cos you are really stooopid...

  • Santapola - 2011-12-13 15:32

    Send her to China please

      OSSY24 - 2011-12-14 08:13

      she's so dead

  • Erich - 2011-12-13 15:32

    This white substance that gave the lady away was apparently not dandruff.

      jowza1 - 2011-12-13 15:55

      I thought it was the staysoft from the washing machine.stupid me

      Sheik - 2011-12-13 19:09

      Just imagine how much smuggling would take place if Coke was Black!

  • Eric - 2011-12-13 15:33

    So should she be found guilty then there is only one way. Well, another one for the chair, or is it the needle.

  • Shirley - 2011-12-13 15:34

    They want easy wealth and are used to South African law where you can get away with anything! Drug mules should be charged with attempted murder!

      Heiku - 2011-12-13 16:06


      the_gob - 2011-12-14 13:12

      That's why they get the death penalty dear, cause it is murder.

  • Ig - 2011-12-13 15:40

    I Hopeth they too have the death penalty, criminal!!!!!!!!!

      the_gob - 2011-12-14 13:14

      Unfortunately/fortunately (depends on how u look at it) in Thailand, cocaine is a Class B drug, so maximum sentence is life in jail. If it was heroin or crystal meth, it would be the hang mans' noose!

  • antonavo - 2011-12-13 16:39

    And then South Africans have much to say about the death penalty in China. Ask yourself this Question ,and for those not being objective I will answer. Are drugs a problem in China? NO! Are drugs a problem in South Africa? YES!

      Patricia - 2011-12-13 21:06

      Why is there a market for drugs in South Africa? Lets be honest it is because the drug users and addicts who use, doing so out of their own free will and they create the demand for drugs!

  • Trevor - 2011-12-13 16:48

    2006 Uk Visa R500, 2011 R3600 and run by a 3rd party company!!!! All this because of corruption in SA, we now just another African State run by just another African "Government" sad

  • phangolicious - 2011-12-13 16:58

    The root cause of all this saga, is our crime infested Airport ....... how did these criminals pass through?? pls how can an unemployed person have a ticket worth more than R3000 to go to Thailand!! ACSA must get rid of Bosasa Security in our airport with immediate effect .....

      makesuthink - 2011-12-14 06:37

      Can you actually read. She flew from Sao Paulo to Qatar and then to Thailand. she never went through O R Tambo. Oh and by the way Bosasa Security has nothing to do with Customs, Customs Officials do the inspection and searching of luggage if needed

      Depesh - 2011-12-14 15:20

      Dude, you are stupid

  • Pieter - 2011-12-13 16:59

    Drug dealers/smuglers should be charged with crimes against humanity.

  • lily.york2 - 2011-12-13 17:26

    Politicians even use state monies to go and visit there girlfriends who are drug mules and are locked up in foreign countries.Come on guys this is South africa.

  • lily.york2 - 2011-12-13 17:28

    Politicians use our state monies to go and visit there girlfriends who are drug mules and locked up in foreign countries.Come on guys this is South Africa.

  • rmattnertours - 2011-12-13 18:08

    See you in 17 years.

  • Joseph - 2011-12-13 18:40

    This is embarasing for South Africa,one South African is executed in China followed by a huge out cry from the concerned.another South African has been arrested for drug trafficking in Thailand making her the 12 South African to be arrested in Thailand this year,are we still crying for them i do not think so.They deserve to be punished what ever punishmant they recieve will be justified for the crimes committed in foreign land.The embassy should not be involved in with these stupid people.

  • Elsie - 2011-12-13 18:45

    wow, by the time she finish her sentence, will be qualifying for govt pension money, they dun play in bangkok, sentence is 50yrs upwards, they just dun wanna stress u by saying life sentence, if its in numbers it gives one strength to keep counting,as for that locks-hairstyle was so incredible, even bob marley was gonna be suspicious

  • Ken - 2011-12-13 19:19

    12th for the year. So that is one for each month of the year.

  • Bert - 2011-12-13 19:50

    HANG THEM ALL. The misery they spread with their greed for easy money. No excuses, drop them

  • Patricia - 2011-12-13 20:58

    Please wake up we watched the whole video of her arrest in Thailand. The police were laughing. As stated in the article she had white powder in her hair. All lies she was the decoy and the drug mules walked through with the huge amount of drugs.

  • Valentina - 2011-12-13 21:18

    She is lucky she got busted in Thailand. In Qatar she'd be looking at Death Penalty

  • Sam - 2011-12-13 21:31

    what about recipients and sender, why the courier

  • Sharon - 2011-12-13 22:05

    She should be well educated to join our goverment by the time she is released. Isn't jailtime a requiremnet?

      barb.magill - 2011-12-13 23:07

      Ha! Ha! Well said Sharon!!

  • Anton - 2011-12-13 22:39

    How many people get busted?(In Thailand for drugs) The most up to date figures I can acquire for the UK put the figure at 134,101 for 1999 and 124,345 for 2000. No doubt the figure for 2002 and the sudden drop in 2003 and 2004 in Thailand jumped out at you. There is a reason for this: War on Drugs. Do some reachers before you get yourself into trouble.

  • Raymond - 2011-12-13 22:39

    Its crazy but would love to know the stats for the rest of the arrested who are not from SA because nobody is asking how did they get on the planes to start with drugs on them and we dont see the dealers who are paying them getting caught.

  • John - 2011-12-13 23:11

    Must have been a big hat..Sorry for her..Lots of jail time pending..

  • tshegofatso.setilo - 2011-12-14 00:03

    And now what is the DA saying about this?? Should Zuma also "do more" to help her? What saddens me is the fact that the same story happend on Monday and I dont think that she didnt know about the woman, a South African for that matter, who was executed...mxm. We always want to learn the hard way. DA say something about this or are you going to blame Zuma if they execute her as well???

      tyrone.bissell - 2011-12-14 07:52

      Now that is just a stupid comment! The woman in China was proclaiming her innocence to the very end, not to mention that the drugs were found in her bag not on her person. Read the report clearly states the drugs were in her hair and she admitted to knowingly carry them. Why would the DA defend a self confessed drug mule? Dumb@ss

  • brionyl.french - 2011-12-14 05:26

    so thats one stupid South African every month... We aint to bright now are we, We need to learn that money, Jobs and respect dont fall from the sky onto us, like Chicken little and the sky, Its earned which meas HARD WORK!!! not a flight to another country mueling drugs...

  • Dumisani - 2011-12-14 07:26

    what,, is this "catch a SA drug mule week" ??

  • ana.curcic - 2011-12-14 07:58

    Educated, joung and beautiful...R16 000 and round the world trip....some people work for that money a full year......Fell sorry for her? NO, NO, NO. Greed is a devil, but a devil of choice. Face up to it on your own as Y did when receiving the payment.

  • Sattva - 2011-12-14 08:09

    Rot in jail / death penalty

  • Fredster69 - 2011-12-14 08:16

    Dreadlock holiday

  • Nare Narebola Sekhaolelo - 2011-12-14 09:23

    i say Kill Her aswell! She admits or nt, shes a danger to the society. Basically shes a disgrace to south Africa, letting her live would min dat we are promoting dis to hepen! Actually, evry country should shoud have the law of which gives them the go ahead to kill all those smuggling drugs in their country! Let her and Lindile be an example, n nt only dat, bt a start of making dis world a better place to live! Narebola is me

  • Pieter - 2011-12-14 09:24

    Ai tog...

  • Nothemba - 2011-12-14 09:29

    I hope the do the same to their citizens who commit the same type of crime to demonstrate how strong is their legal power and it's strictness we all know the reputation of China with it's illegal activities of human trafficking, drugs and so on. I don't agree with their action, we in South Africa we have complained of Nigerians and the response was we are holding the market and wondering what is so interesting about establishing that kind of relationship with chinese and who is behind all of this sometimes we need to look at the depth of the problem not on the surface before we make comments, some where somehow there is a lot on this. The information might leak through the relation they have with the aurthorities that are also involve, jealous plays in the businessand taking advantage of covering up their involvement. We can't lose our people because of the others that are on the hide. Remember the wife of the politician recently confiscated with drugs to China. Who is behind this?

      Anton - 2011-12-14 23:30

      And they do. Thai police routely enters clubs and take urine samples from everyone to test for drug. If your sample tests positive you are arrested.

  • daphne.logan1 - 2011-12-14 09:33

    wow, ppl dont learn at all

  • Phumezo - 2011-12-14 09:35

    As much as we like to avoid the issue of the legacy of the past that has entranched deep rooted poverty and a sense of helplessness in the African youth in general and blacks in particular is the cause of all these crimes. The economic climate caused by greedy white capitalists bankers have not assisted the situation either! As Vavi said that with high unemploymnet and jobless youth the South African nation as a whole is sitting in a ring of fire! This was further emphasised by Moeletsi Mbeki who said that in 2020 with the conditions the youth finds itself in it will have its own "Tunisia Day". The story of this 22 year old is not another Beegte story but a sign of warning of the plight of the African black youth!

      Glen.E.Huysamer - 2011-12-14 11:41

      I would venture to say that it is the plight of all the youth of South Africa, not just the black youth, or the poor but all. What Vavi says is militant and shouts for 'others' to come fix the problem, the fact is that there are no 'other'. His 'ring of fire' is a type of 'blackmail' to those that may still have to give to those that don't. As for drugs it has no boundaries. We have top police officials, government ministers wife's, children of both 'rich and poor' being sucked into this drug underworld because somehow it has become the norm in our society. And for those that scorn at the fall of these mules, scorn today, but rest assured that if South Africa does not get control of itself that members of your family will come face to face with the inevitable choice of drugs. At school, at sports clubs, bars, night clubs and even in the work place. The choice will not be yours, but your child, your grandson, your brothers child, your neighbors child, the friend of your child. You will say, I don't believe it, and that is where it all begins. The fact that we cannot see, don't want to see, don't really care or give a dam. Rather rest assured, by not being the judge of the misfortunate regardless of their choices. As crazy as this case is, no doubt that she knew the drugs were being braided into her hair, the question we need to focus on is how she came to make such a disastrous decision. Poverty or greed is no reason. Rather how did she come to think her life was so cheap?

  • Olivia - 2011-12-14 12:13

    One must really be a brainless fart head to not know the implications of drug trafficking in today's world....seriously....don't these people ever learn!

  • NtombiMasbeu - 2011-12-14 13:34

    after this arrest of yet another SA i think all SA's who uses thier brains will think twice nd 'll only do crime here nt outside.i say all the Chinas here must be chppd their kids sit in the casino and gamble until the next where do they get the money they deal here nt in thier country they cum nd corrupt our country nd kip thiers clean no it has to stoooop

  • John - 2011-12-14 14:20

    Timothy, Hi I live in Chiang Mai