Family insists drug mule was at Wits

2011-12-14 14:33

Johannesburg - The family of alleged drug mule Nolubabalo Nobanda on Wednesday insisted she was a student at Wits University despite the institution not having a record of her.

"I would like to counter those facts. My child was registered at Wits for three years and was finishing up with Unisa this year," her father Partick Ncepu said.

"I can even give you her student numbers."

Earlier, the university said she was not registered with them.

"Wits University would like to place on record that Ms Nolubabalo Nobanda, an alleged drug mule, was never registered as a student at Wits University," spokesperson Shirona Patel said in a statement.

"The university cannot find any student record under this name."

Cocaine in dreadlocks

Nobanda was arrested in Thailand this week for hiding cocaine in her dreadlocks.

The 23-year-old was searched on Monday when police said they noticed a white substance in her hair, shortly after she stepped off a Qatar Airways flight.

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


The family's lawyer Advocate Ntsiki Sandi said all attempts were being made to ensure Nobanda was brought back to South Africa alive.

The family had called on the department of international relations to intervene in the matter.

South African diplomats were expected to visit her in prison on Thursday.

Sandi said the embassy had promised to give her clothes and food.

The family would also send a representative to that country to take instructions on how to proceed with the matter.

"It's necessary for the family that someone should go Thailand and find out what happened and take instructions as soon as possible because the family is still in the dark," said Sandi.

  • Pam - 2011-12-14 14:43

    And?? what difference does it make?? Drug Mule end of story dah

      Jason - 2011-12-14 18:25

      Juan...Even if she got caught in China, she still would'nt get the death sentence. They only sentenced the last one to death because she refused to tell the truth, This one admitted it. Read the whole story, not just the headline :)

      Lesedi - 2011-12-15 09:08

      @Warren, is a totally different person. Theres a difference between "Nobumba" and "Nobanda"!

      Nyiks11 - 2011-12-15 11:34

      thank you for that piece of useless information Warren

      Warren - 2011-12-15 11:59

      @ Lesedi: Yep, you are right, seems "copy & paste" doesn't always get me the results I am looking for. I should've looked more closely. @ Mgayi: You can learn something from Lesedi. Sorry for any embarrassment caused, fell kinda silly. Once again, I should've double checked.

      Nyiks11 - 2011-12-15 12:12

      @Warren and you can learn an african language or two , the poor and innocent Nolubabalo Nobumba is now inundated with FB requests thanks to your ignorance. O bari sani

      Warren - 2011-12-15 12:55

      @ Mgayi: So says the faceless coward who needs multiple apologies for something that does'nt even concern him. How do you even know she is inundated with FB requests??? If she were, the real Nolubabalo "Babsi" Nobanda couldn't even respond to those requests??? Are you a misery addict???

      Nyiks11 - 2011-12-15 14:50

      Haai maan Warren , ask me a more difficult question

  • Donovan - 2011-12-14 14:45

    ... execute one yesterday, catch another today. I'm sure when I go to visit Thailand I will have a harder time getting through customs because of people like this. Thailand - lock her in a thai prison for 25-life please, whatever you do, DON'T send her back. Even wits has distanced itself from the terrible affect this has on our country's image.

      Squeegee - 2011-12-14 15:16

      Imagine how hard its going to be for people with dreadlocks... hahaha.

  • Darkie - 2011-12-14 14:47

    mnxim Nolubabalo! what a foolish girl,..i have mixxed feeling with this case, i guess i m more concern about your parents..because you knw exactly what you were doing, you sat for hours while drugs were planted to your hair...mnxim....This is goign to be a HUGE lesson for all YOung SOUTH AFRICANS.....

      ntuthu0115 - 2011-12-14 16:57

      nice one Darkie,bt she is only human so she deserves a second chance

      trevor.franzoi - 2011-12-14 18:42

      @Ntuthu- why a second chance.. Its not like she didn't know drug smuggling was illegal..... She took the chance and now has to pay the penalty... end of story

      brionyl.french - 2011-12-15 05:28

      Ntuthu0115 you saying your child, or friend, brother or sister gets murdered you would say shame she/ he deserves a second chance??? That is so pathetic.... NO SECOND CHANCES!!!! how else are we supposed to teach our kids right from wrong.... Dont you want your children to grow uo in a better environment than you? Then no second chances... SHE WAS AN IDIOT FOR DOING THIS!!! everyone knows drug mueling leads to inprisonment not wealth anf fortune. I have see what drugs can do to a life, a family, a friend and i wouldnt wish that on anyone.... Thailand should execute her to because she is stupid

      Gail - 2011-12-15 11:03

      I agree with Darkie on the mixed feelings thing. I have taught children from disadvataged backgrounds in Matric and nobody knows what hardships they undergo to obtain those magical things called certificates. This doesn't excuse the fact that she committed a very risky illegal act particularly if she was a law student as she claims. She has admitted to doing the crime and so will no doubt have to do the time in jail that is decided upon. She can use that time to finish her studies through UNISA perhaps and if not she will learn that actions have consequences and it was her choice and she alone was responsible. I do feel sorry for her and her family who have probably sacrificed to get her to this point. Drugs tho ruin many lives not just the addicts who buy them and harsh sentences are necessary to deter others who may be tempted to do the same things.

  • Chris - 2011-12-14 14:48

    I think that Wits should start to realize that this is not the only Wits student that is involved with Drugs..... But anyways, does it matter where she studied?? She took drugs over international borders, end of story, no one cares where she studied!!!!!

  • Ibhubesi - 2011-12-14 14:49

    Why are we so protective of criminals? You certainly can't claim innocence if you have the drugs in your hair? And what has WITS got to do with any of this? Were the press going to write that WITS was a breeding ground of drug traffickers? Why is my tax money being spent on buying clothes for a drug mule in another country? This is ridiculous!

      Vegi - 2011-12-14 15:11

      People are just doing what you would do when your wife, child, mother, brother or girlfriend are caught for their criminal activities. You would never sit and do nothing. Your holier than though attitude is also ridiculous. Secondly what is used to buy clothes is not your money. It may happen that you are not paying a cent to the receiver. On my side I rejoice when my tax money is used to help South Africans in distress, especially these naive girls who are sent to potential death by silly adults.

      Ibhubesi - 2011-12-14 15:19

      LOL LOL Vegetable. Sorry I can't cry with you. I'm not on drugs!

      Vegi - 2011-12-14 15:50

      At least Thailand is not as evil as China. A fair trial is possible. In fact the girl is guilty if those drug filled dreadlocks we saw on TV truly belong to her. The girl may live to tell the tale and later redeem herself.

      Gail - 2011-12-15 11:17

      @vegi: I just want to point out that everyone right down to the poorest of the poor with the possible exception of freegans pays tax even if it is only VAT. If they are freegans then they may well resort to this illegal action if they are desperate enough. The tax money being spent refers to the costs of lawyers and govt officials having to get involved because this is a SA citizen. Those go towards ensuring that she is treated decently and people object to that since she knowingly broke the law be it out of desperation or greed. Why does a lawbreaker deserve to receive any assistance which makes her incarceration better than that of some law abiding citizens of our country?

  • Mashudu - 2011-12-14 14:49

    shame, this should be difficult for her family.

      Poloyatonki - 2011-12-14 15:21

      It all start with the up-bringing, if you teach your child the difference between wrong and right, wherever he/she goes she will behave accordingly.

      Bigrp - 2011-12-14 15:53

      Poloyatonki, must be the first time I'm 100% in agreement with you! It is our job as parents to educate and discipline our children, and before you decide to have children, you should make sure that you are ready for the responsibility!

      Azande - 2011-12-14 16:01

      Poloyatoki, that theory is outdated. Wake up now. Are u implying that all the mischievous youth out there had no right parental guidance? Raising a child nowadays involves a lot of other things other than teaching a kid right or wrong. Devine intervention is one of them, literally.

      albert.willems - 2011-12-15 07:42

      Poloyatonki, what utter bull is that! She was brought up in good home and went a prestigious girls school in Grahamstown. She knows the difference between right and wrong and just decided not to act accordingly!

  • superkruger - 2011-12-14 14:50

    Yummy yummy, hairy smelly coke...

  • dmaloma - 2011-12-14 14:53

    What difference does it make if she was in Wits or not. THEY FOUND A SUBSTANCE(drugs) HIDDEN IN HER DREADLOCKS PERIOD!!!!!!!! So whether Wits or RAU or Stellenbosch really it is irrelevant for her folks to debating about this when they have a situation on their hands.

      katlego.maponyane - 2011-12-14 15:40

      This is as clear as Jub Jub and his friend killing those school kids! I dont understand why sh1t always needs to be debated. Wrong is wrong

  • lebo.lathane - 2011-12-14 14:53

    So what! I think they have bigger problems than whether she was registered at Wits or not. Unless if the Wits University they're referring to is some exclusive 'member-only' hair salon.

      Nyiks11 - 2011-12-15 12:00

      @Lebo Whaaaat a classic , didn't see that one coming

  • MoAfrika - 2011-12-14 14:54

    which is worse, not registering at Wits or busted with drugs? or not having you father's name? maybe finishing at UNISA yet registered at Wits for 3yrs?

  • Andre - 2011-12-14 14:56

    Students are not that dumb.

      Merven - 2011-12-14 15:37

      Lol, the only difference between a student and an animal is, the animals can not help for how they are. Like the joke: What is the difference between a pig and a student? A pig don't become a student when drunk!

      Theo - 2011-12-15 04:20

      Hello r u alive

  • Shaun - 2011-12-14 14:59

    The family's lawyer Advocate Ntsiki Sandi said all attempts were being made to ensure Nobanda was brought back to South Africa alive. = Is this some kind of joke, I mean how on earth do they think Thailand will allow her to leave there country

      Perfume - 2011-12-14 15:20

      How come they did not work overtime to bring Janice Linden back to South Africa to serve her sentence, I think they are besides themselves that this 23yr old will either meet the same fate as Ms Linden, or serve a life sentence. I don't see the Thai government handing this girl over, she will spend her days in prison there.

      fargone - 2011-12-15 11:55

      agree, they wont send her bak, particularly when they know she will be out of jail in a week or two.

      John - 2011-12-15 12:09

      Shaun, There is only one chance of her ever seeing SA again if they sentence her to life. Every year on the Thai Kings birthday(6 Dec)they grant pardons to a few lifers. You have to apply for a pardon, very difficult. At present there are thousands of lifers in jail here. I have heard of guys who have waited for years after applying.

  • DieSeL - 2011-12-14 14:59

    What difference does it make whether she was at Wits or not? Her family should be more concerned with the fact that their daughter is a drug mule and on doing their best to ensure she isn't executed too! With a family like that no wonder she is hauling drugs. Their priorities are all messed up!

  • Andrew - 2011-12-14 15:01

    While my thought may sound selfish I am begining to worry as a South Afican when we travel overseas will we now all be subjected to overly scrutinee even though we are not doing anything illegal, just because we are RSA citizens. As I recall with SA passports in visiting the UK, no visas were needed. Then as a result of massive fraud in issuing of SA passport became necessary for visas. Custom officials can get quite unfriendly as many will have expierienced in visiting USA and Australia. Lets hope no such occasions arise.

      champ.bopape - 2011-12-14 16:43

      My biggest concern is the negative reputation these illegal acts have on our beloved country. Please ladies out there, just stop it. Enough already!!!

      Elmandi - 2011-12-14 17:26

      Andrew, quite right. Custom officials have always given me a hard time when arriving back in the UK from a visit home (SA). I'm about to visit Australia (visa nightmare), so hopefully that will be a more pleasant experience. It does seem rather unfair that stupidity like this makes travel harder for law-abiding saffas.I do feel for her though.

      Antoinette - 2011-12-15 10:55

      I shudder tom think what the USA does now - when my daighter went there for a visit in 1999/2000 she was treated like a rubbish and gave her nightmare - can't imagine what its going to be like now.

      John - 2011-12-15 12:21

      Don't worry about Thailand treating you any differently because you are a SA'n. At customs you have already been through immigration there is no way for them to know you are South African unless you tell them, or if they stop you for a routine inspection. Simple solution don't smuggle drugs!! By the way, if you are carrying drugs in your luggage they will probably know before you get to them. Savurnabhumi Airport in BKK has the most sophisticated drug detection equipment available on the baggage conveyor. Don't do it. It might just save the rest of your life!

  • Johann - 2011-12-14 15:03

    Maybe she was only an evening part-time student. Visiting the dorms in the darkness of the night making deliveries.

  • Amy - 2011-12-14 15:04

    Uni student or no Uni student, now she's Nolubabalo Nobanda da drug mole and she should pay for ha crime!

      Humble - 2011-12-14 15:16

      I think you mean THE drug MULE & she should pay for HER crime... flippen hell, where'd you learn to speak english

      Harold - 2011-12-15 12:07

      I dont think this one is a drug mule If you been to Varsity then you are a drug donkey.

  • Taniko - 2011-12-14 15:07

    i was about to say who the hell cares whether she goes to wits or not.....she must be jailed !

  • Kwena - 2011-12-14 15:07

    I am just compasionate about her family, this is a hard time for all who are parenting this young genaration of stout asses.

  • Deon - 2011-12-14 15:10

    Ooops, maybe the family paid for her "studies" and she lived it up?

  • Alva - 2011-12-14 15:11

    Oh please! What has Wits got to do with the drug issue anyway?

      Harold - 2011-12-15 12:09

      Wits were the ones to let here out of her test tube. This is what happens when you clone idiots in a lecture room.

  • Elle-Black - 2011-12-14 15:12

    Okay this is crazy,this girl is facing the death penalty and Wits and her family are arguing about whther she was a student there or not,seriously is that really important right now?

  • Humble - 2011-12-14 15:13

    "all attempts were being made to ensure Nobanda was brought back to South Africa alive." Thailand dont have the death penalty for cocaine as far as i know? Its classed a schedule 2 drug there & carries a jail term of 20years...

      Alva - 2011-12-14 15:16

      So, she will come back old but alive. Just desserts for being a drug mule!

  • Sela - 2011-12-14 15:15

    she played the game nd lost nw ppl have run around wasting time nd money cause of her stupidity. so next player please.

  • Ndivhuho - 2011-12-14 15:16

    I hope SA doesnt try to get Thailand to send her back. what kind of message are we sending to our children?? "You do the crime, get caught and we will help you out??" No man, she knew what she was doing she must pay for her crimes in Thailand.

  • Eric - 2011-12-14 15:22

    So what has being in university got to do with the drug smuggling

  • Julie.Rigby61 - 2011-12-14 15:24

    No sympathy what-so-ever. Do the crime you serve the time! How many lives would have been affected with these drugs?

  • Refiloe - 2011-12-14 15:25

    Why is so special that Thailand must her to South Africa, what about those South Africans who are serving their sentences in Thai. Deborah Fraser is one of the people who served their drug sentences in other countries. Even South Africa is keeping people in prisons who come from another countries. These people did these things knowingly what to expect. Secondly, I would not be surprised that even the student number the parents claim she has concocted by those druglords who sent her to Thai and that she is very much aware of that. If she was not arrested, what was to follow was a fake degree which was going to get her a very good employment in one of the government offices. Lets not be hypocrites drugs destroyed so many people.

  • hettiejwhiting - 2011-12-14 15:25

    all I can say is one less mule on the streets

  • Had - 2011-12-14 15:26

    Please ! Who cares if she went to Wits, Rhodes, UCT or wherever. It's irrelevant. What is relevant is the fact that her education was a complete waste of time and effort because she has chosen a life of crime.

  • Matema - 2011-12-14 15:26

    chances are she was never a student ko wits.

  • Rory - 2011-12-14 15:26

    Suppose we lucky mules cant breed then?

  • kwazingcebo - 2011-12-14 15:27

    goes to show parents must keep track of their children at tertiary she probably lied about being registered at wits she is drug mule maybe the student number was faked ...I think the family must brace themselves for they are about to find out what their child has been up to for years!!!!!!!

  • Motho - 2011-12-14 15:28

    But why can't people learn that there are no short cuts to success!

  • vutisani.masangu - 2011-12-14 15:32

    Here is Mzansi u do crime they want Gov to Intervene reason is they do promote crime,

  • wnkambule - 2011-12-14 15:33

    Mxm! Does it really matter if she was a student or not?

  • Marlon - 2011-12-14 15:35

    Her father says she was a student at Wits and UNISA, where did they pay their varsity fees? She has to do her time for her crime. I'm against any execeutions though.

      Nteek.Editor - 2011-12-14 16:39

      its possible that the parents would send her money so that she could pay the fees herself... which is a bit wack, especially if they are not asking for proof of payments if my assumption is at all close to the truth it shows that she truly has an insatiable hunger for money...

  • madsipho - 2011-12-14 15:36

    Poor Thing! But I don't think Wits students are this dumb.

  • bennirak - 2011-12-14 15:37

    Did you watch the video? The very unconvincing "dreads" where made from knitting wool, not even synthetic hair... to risk her life like this... some bad people must have really had her cornered. Shame.

      ofentse.ramorula - 2011-12-14 16:17

      I think you are wrong to think they were not convincing, She passed through two different airports without being noticed, had it not also being a missed spot that exposed the white substance, I do not think they would have caught her. I think she has done this couple of times and she was never caught considering that her parents thought she was studying for the past three years.

  • Vegi - 2011-12-14 15:37

    The hairdresser also need to stand trial with this girl. Obviously she did not style those tubes on her own.

  • ofentse.ramorula - 2011-12-14 15:38

    If you look at her pictures when she was busted, you will notice that those were fake dreadlocks that were hollow inside hence she was able to stash 1.5kg cocaine. This was sheer briliance except that the person who was making the dreads missed a spot and it exposed a white substance. Now Rastas will always be drug suspects.

      Nteek.Editor - 2011-12-14 16:42

      "Now Rastas will always be drug suspects" especially those who wear turbans this could cause some unpleasant clashes since Rastas generally consider their hair sacred, not just anyone can see or touch them...

      Christian - 2011-12-14 18:21

      New meaning to the silly old term "screw-in hair"?

  • Vegi - 2011-12-14 15:39

    Ibhubesi What do you mean by LOL. Do you mean low life or what?

      Ibhubesi - 2011-12-14 15:53

      Laughing Out Loud. Abbreviated in Electronic Language LOL. Understand now my dear Cucumber?

  • Vegi - 2011-12-14 15:42

    The father is not lying. He was probably given a fake student number by the drug delivery girl. Or alternatively, Wits University is lying in order to distance itself from a drug mule who may tarnish its reputation.

      Ibhubesi - 2011-12-14 15:52

      And your point is?

  • Jasper - 2011-12-14 15:42

    Dumb, dummer dumbest - I can assure you that South African foreign affairs won't be able to interfere in the sense of getting her back to the RSA. She should be executed Chinese style!

  • makesuthink - 2011-12-14 15:45

    She was at Wits studying to be a cabinet minister and this is part of her studies

      Ibhubesi - 2011-12-14 15:51

      You've got it all wrong. Our "cabinet minsters' don't need university training. They have primary school. Your use of the term cabinet ministers is an indication of your age. We are tired of the uneducated old men that rule us, but so are we of the educated stupid ones from the past that "over ruled" us.

      makesuthink - 2011-12-14 16:55

      Ibhubesi Cabinet as in wood working but there again you would not understand (JUJU)

      Ibhubesi - 2011-12-14 17:05

      @makesuthink. Take your blood pressure medication. You sound just like all of these other old people on here. The same old woodworking story day after day. I guess the old woodworking joke is synonym with the white Malemas of the country. Shows the same mentality and breeding on both sides. Amazes me that "some" whites think themselves so superior to all blacks in this country when they crawl from the same uneducated space as Malema.

      makesuthink - 2011-12-15 06:36

      Ibhubesi your comments show just how stupid and racist you are. I am actually 22years old and as black as you but certainly not as stupid. I will never call you a n ars123le because you are just passing through

  • Japana - 2011-12-14 15:45

    Its difficult to learn, neh. Now it will take her a few decades in isolation, breaking her family's hearts, ending her career just to learn that drug dealing is illegal.

  • Chaapo - 2011-12-14 15:49

    She may have been spinning a yarn to the family. As for a registration number, anyone can spin off one but does not make that a reality. Who would tell their family that she is not learning but doing drug runs especially after concocting a story that you are in university? This may have been a cover because there is less scrutiny when people think you are just a simple student. Parents want our children to do so well that they refuse to accept that they may have fallen into a life a crime and would desperately do anything to try and associate them with respectability.

      Gregory Jurgens - 2011-12-14 15:55

      Hi mom I am studying all week see you next Sunday. Load the cargo we ready to fly. Snaaaaarf Aaaaaahh . She was flying long before the plane left.

  • Rohin - 2011-12-14 15:49

    Odd that the parents would trust that their child hasn't been lying to them that she's been studying when she's been busted as a drug mule. Denial is not just a river in Egypt.

  • Daft - 2011-12-14 15:49

    Looks like she was studying at "Witpoeier" varcity !!

  • Sphiwe - 2011-12-14 15:50

    People are amazing - how can you do this today when one was killed yesterday in China for doing the samething?

  • Dane - 2011-12-14 15:51

    Okay: option 1: she was or is a WITs student and they deleted her from the system so cover there reputation option 2: Her parents thought she was a student but actualy been taking there money for a spin and finaly got caught.