SA a huge link in drug network

2011-12-18 19:00

Johannesburg - Travelling South Africans are increasingly being flagged by customs officials in other countries.

This is in large part due to South African passports being faked and used by international terrorists, said organised crime expert Annette Hübschle.

“We do not have such a brilliant reputation anymore,” she said.

And the situation is exacerbated by an increasing number of southern Africans being arrested for drug-related crimes in Europe and Asia.

Currently, 619 South Africans are in prisons abroad for drug trafficking. In Thailand, 12 South Africans were arrested this year. About 20 were arrested in foreign countries in November alone.

Besides Nolubabalo Nobanda’s arrest, the Bali Times reported in October that two more South Africans faced the death penalty after being arrested in Indonesia at Ngurah Rai International Airport.

Brett Savage, 44, from Johannesburg was arrested for allegedly carrying 3kg of crystal methamphetamine (tik) and Kedibone Motsweneng was arrested days later, allegedly trying to smuggle in 2.5kg of the drug.

At the same airport in September, housekeeper Nyolukana Nomakorinte Christabell, 44, was paraded in front of the media in Bali.

She cried uncontrollably after being caught with 1kg of crystal meth hidden in her underwear.

Hübschle said the volume of drugs trafficked through southern Africa to markets in Europe and Asia had surged.

“South Africa is a huge link in the international drug trafficking chain. These organised crime ‘networks’ are not only into drugs, but into other illicit and licit trading as well.

A trafficker from South Africa, for instance, might traffic rhino horn to China and traffic drugs back to South Africa,” she said.

  • Karmah - 2011-12-18 19:18

    Well here's a thought. How about the South african government STOPS STEALING from it's citizens. Maybe then people won't need to be forced to find illegal ways to make money. I'm just saying...

      Max - 2011-12-18 19:31

      It is not a question of stealing in the real sence of the word, it is more like living the African dream of cunsumption without production.

      Squeegee - 2011-12-18 19:31

      This is just great. Not! Its already hard enough getting into the USA or UK, now other nations are going to follow too. Kick out all non SA dealers.

      Larry - 2011-12-18 19:53

      The South African Government has spent the last 10 years branding us. Our useless Police and Justice system, as well as our useless Government, has seen to it that we pay dearly, whether we stay here or we travel.

      Mantsho - 2011-12-18 19:56

      If we remove ANC from power then the stealing will stop, jobs will be created for the people so they dont have to do this things. We dont have a good reputation anymore like Nigerians(419) everybody knows they are criminals. l hate this situation, this goverment is not doing enough to take on this organised crime and control our borders, and the department of Home Affairs is corrupt too.

      Dirk - 2011-12-18 20:02

      SA is regarded as a large crime syndicate with involvement from political office bearers to the man-in-the street- all are contaminated. SAs have even become subjects of jokes regarding this matter.

      Timothy - 2011-12-19 06:45

      Again why not legalize it and regulate the industry, (tobaco and alchol is perfectly legal). The government will make a killing from the profit which can be redistributed into the population. Drugs will not be as hazardous i.e cocaine will be pure not mixed with rat poison or whatever they use to cut it with. You will wipe out a huge percentage of gangs and gang related violance which usually relates to drug use and turf wars. The fact of the matter is you cannot stop a person from doing drugs, if they want to use it they will find a way to get it no matter what, the government might as well take advantage from the situation and cash in on it. While at the same time making drug use a little bit "safer" for the user

      Atholl - 2011-12-19 08:13

      Here's another thought: Why not 'feed' the 'good, pure' drugs to the families and children of the Drug Lords and Mules. so they can witness firsthand, the impact of their 'trade'.

      JustMe - 2011-12-19 10:12

      Using government's corruption as an excuse for drug trafficking sounds a lot like blaming crime on the apartheid years.

      Randomhero6661 - 2011-12-19 14:05

      Have to agree with justme here...

      Heiku - 2011-12-19 17:53

      Yup. Well said JustMe.

      Boeretroos - 2011-12-20 13:53

      This is the african way - dope, drugs, dagga, pille etc. Lucky the world knows this now and they will be scrutinizing africans a bit more closely, especially those who complain and dont want their luggage screened.

      John - 2011-12-25 14:26

      why is it that we all know that the chinese are behind the rhino horn slaughter, but the mentally challenged police of our mentally challenged government can not find them...

      Eduard - 2012-01-28 12:41

      @ Karmah agree, they steal too much, but you miss the point here....SA is getting a label (this is trouble).....and soon as when we travel abroad, we will be a focus point for police, even scapegoat. The fact that they use fake ID's/ Passports say much about "lack of crime crack down" in these departments too I guess, if the education system was a bit more current, then people of SA could be educated about the risks involved.

  • ReunionofIntelligentMinds - 2011-12-18 19:34

    Amazed how drug dealers can sniff out where the weak links are and South Africa is definitely the easiest target. I think head office of illigal drug trafficking moved to South Africa.

      spartanx93 - 2011-12-18 20:15

      South Africans tend to be blinded by easy money until they get caught.

      Vegi - 2011-12-18 21:00

      Your comment is irresponsible.

      Van - 2011-12-19 04:53

      Have a banana.

      Andrew - 2011-12-19 06:34

      Please do not generalize I as a South African have and continue to travel overseas and have never even contemplated this type of activity.

      Sharkshoot - 2011-12-19 09:25

      Another Proudly South African moment.

  • Vegi - 2011-12-18 19:52

    This is a lie only intended to besmirch the image of this respected country. Foreign agents and South Africans with foreign loyalties are responsible for this. South Africa is not on the "Majors List." Countries that are on the "Majors List" - (major illicit drugs producing and transit countries) are the following: Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, and Vietnam. Please people, refrain from publishing unresearched lies.

      Squeegee - 2011-12-18 20:02

      Vegi, go water your brain.

      Dean Kenad - 2011-12-18 20:02

      Vegi, you must be high on somthing or your skull got no brains and only filled with water.

      Clifton - 2011-12-18 20:05

      @ Vegi. This news piece does not say that SA is on the "Majors List" to which you refer, making your argument pointless. It is merely reporting what appears to be happening 'on the ground'. Get a grip before you accuse others of lies. (BTW: Do you remember when all of those blank passports "disappeared" from Home Affairs?)

      Saksak Motsepe - 2011-12-18 20:10

      @Vegi asked you people to do research and not just accept junk stories.

      spartanx93 - 2011-12-18 20:16

      @Vegi - this is how countries get added to that list fool. If SA does not clamb down on all this drug running SA will be on that list very soon. Makeing travel for those even harder cause of visa requirements being increased.

      Vegi - 2011-12-18 20:32

      Spartanx & others You are missing the point. I was disputing the "huge link" part. South Africa is not a major link and is a long way to achieving those levels of notoriety. Your must desist from this tendency of gulping whatever garbage the media throws at you.

      Grant - 2011-12-18 20:33

      vegi...why do you think that SA passport holders now need a visa to enter the UK, something we did not need to have in the apartheid era. This drug trafficking nonsense is all part of that!

      Saksak Motsepe - 2011-12-18 20:36

      Our media likes amplifying bad things and making it look like we are the worst. Look at the crime stats, they are high but they never tell us that the UK has over double reported crimes as SA or that Germany, France and Italy have worse crime stats than SA or that America leads the way with over 10million reported crimes per year.

      Hugh - 2011-12-18 21:39

      oh so we have a confirmed thief who aprroves of all thingsw crooked and has no concious as he believes that it is their right. Just Like our president he did nothing wrong in taking money from Shaik. In his mind he did not wrong because he was entitled. Just Like a rapist saying I am not guilty because she wanted it. Geez did he not say that too, then had a shower.

      MaxOdin.SA - 2011-12-18 23:21

      @sasak you mention crime stats but you elect to forget the trouble police departments were in for falsifying their stats and case files going missing and complaints not being filed etc and for three years straight they refused to release crime stats. The US and UK may have more incedents of crime than us but how much of that is violent crime? How many are minor offences. You must remember that in the states you get locked up for pissing in the streets. Here that's the accepted norm. Hell here you can get into a fist fight and get away with it, there, not so much. Also what are there population figures VS ours. Here crime per capita is much higer.

      TamaraSays - 2011-12-18 23:36

      Vegi, I respect my bum too...

      JoaoFlickr - 2011-12-19 00:17

      @Vegi WRONG Your own “research is poorly done. Besides quoting from an old (superceded) NDLFA report, your own research into the topic of this discussion was poorly done. In the so-called “Presidential Determination for Major Drug Producing and Transit Countries” (also called the “Majors List”) released on September 15, 2011, US President Barack Obama excludes Nigeria, Brazil, and Paraguay from the list because they “no longer meet the criteria for the list according to US law”. (see ; and other sites). To attach enough value to the aforesaid report to quote from it on a discussion tread is naive. It is generally asserted that the U.S. uses the issue of the struggle against drugs (“Majors List”) to intervene and impose political and economic measures on countries whose governments exercise sovereignty and independence from imperialism. Please Vegi, in your own words, "refrain from publishing unresearched lies".

      steve.luckie - 2011-12-19 00:49

      If you have travelled around the globe, you will know first hand why SAfricans passports are not trustworthy. Your argument is based on assumption not real facts, take your head out of your ### and start travelling then you'll see.

      Ian - 2011-12-19 06:24

      BULLDUST, there are south africans who have been sitting in thai and south american prison for over 15 years, so dont give me this new at the game bs, quite frankily they should have been hung, your ass licking anc has even had some sentences converted from death to life, failed with the chinks though which I'm glad about

      Ashimizo - 2011-12-19 12:05

      Check the lastest version of that list. Nigeria is no longer on it. Do your research properly

      Pieter - 2011-12-19 12:35

      You uneducated moron!!!!!!!! Dont you know that there are more drugs consumed and smuggled in SA than in Mexico and Nigeria together!!!!!Stop reading political and religous proganda as deployed by the dictators we have on every front in our country, and start opening up your eyes when you walk down the street!!!!

  • Dean Kenad - 2011-12-18 19:57

    Now where are those accusing the nigerians? We have overtaken them.

  • Lyndatjie - 2011-12-18 19:58

    I'm sorry. But I have ZERO sympathy for anybody who smuggles any type of drug. The idiots who think that it is a victimless crime should go and spend time with the families of those who are addicted. They steal, hurt and lie to get the next fix and their families are the ones that suffer. I've had to take a mother to hospital whose son hit her with a baseball bat because she wouldn't give him money for drugs. If you are a drug mule then you are ADDING to all of this. And saying that you are not forcing them to take it is BULLSH*T! You are purposely creating a supply for their demand - that is criminal! So rot in jail - I don't care! None of these people are victims - THEY ARE CRIMINALS! Out to feed on human depravity because of money. ROT!

  • Nkosi Menzi - 2011-12-18 20:00

    This is tragic I mean when these people ever learn that trafficking drugs is a crime. I'm definitely gonna use my American passport now so ashamed to have South African passport. So many innocent hardworking ,law abiding citizens will be scrutinized @ these checkpoints what an embarrasment to the country

      Takalani - 2011-12-18 22:20

      We are already scrutinized! It's just going to get worse. Frankfurt and Heathrow airport are among the worst. I feel like a criminal each time I'm interrogated at customs.

      Van - 2011-12-19 04:57

      Can't blame them.

  • Ian - 2011-12-18 20:02

    Well heres one for you that you will like, just got back from a business trip, London, NY , Atlanta, no issues whatsover, I get back here and I am looked at as if they have never seen a white guy before, amazing

  • Jim - 2011-12-18 20:07

    @vegi - you may be right about producing countries but that is NOT our problem. Our real problem is totally unsophisticated teenagers and young matures who think that the gateway to their future is a ticket to South America and +_ R15,000 into their bank account. We need a Government sponsored program publicised in all media right now to get the message through to those "Drug Mules" to show that it is not worth it and what the outcomes can be (Death Penalty in many receiving countries).

      Vegi - 2011-12-18 20:28

      A public campaign to warn the few who participate in this evil trade is a very good idea.

  • an0nthinker - 2011-12-18 20:09

    “We do not have such a brilliant reputation anymore,” she said. Erm honey, we haven't had a "brilliant" repUtation in a very very long time!

      Craig - 2011-12-19 09:08

      Have we ever?

      Pixie86 - 2011-12-19 09:10

      yeah we haven't, way back since the aprtheid era.

  • Rashaad Hendricks - 2011-12-18 20:12

    What a sad day it is when our nation becomes known not only as the home of mandela but also as a nation whose citizens are all capable of peddling drugs. South africans can now expect to be searcjed as amatter of process at all airports

  • Vegi - 2011-12-18 20:21

    Clifton Your language skills leave much to be desired. South Africa is called a huge link in the drug trade. Does that not mean it is one of the major transit points, hence my reference to the "Majors List" which contain major drug producing as well as transit countries. South Africa's contribution to the drug trade is insignificant to the point of being non-existent. Our enemies, with collusion of dumb locals of dubious loyalties, seek to relentlessly magnify our role in the evil trade. This must be fought with all means possible.

      MaxOdin.SA - 2011-12-18 23:29

      Vegi you need to spend more time in the cape flats and out on the town then you'll realise that what you're saying is a load of crap. Hot stinking poo. Car guards sell dope. I've seen people selling heroin on the pavement outside clubs with their wares laying on a blanket. I've seen people doing coke on windowsills in clubs. Hell some south african's are starting to believe that weed is not even a drug. I promise you of all the people I know at least 50% smoke weed. You sir are out of touch unless you, yourself partake then that would explain alot.

      Craig - 2011-12-19 09:34

      Not sure where you're getting your "facts" from, but there is a huge drug problem in SA, not amongst the rich but across the board, SA is a producer of some of the best wild cannabis, tik is rife amongst the youth of the Western Cape, resulting in excess of 5 murders a night, the minister of state securities wife is a caught and convicted drug dealer, he claims no knowledge of the crime, ho, ho, ho, bouncers in rich seaside towns like Ballito allow under aged kids into their clubs, where drugs and alcohol are freely available, and the police do not even respond to the problem, kids in Soweto and Daveyton rob clinics of their HIV drugs to get a better high and SA is on one of the drug routes between Afghanistan/Pakistan/Thailand and Europe as well as South America, Europe/Asia, the fact the over 600 SA are sitting in foreign gaols is ample proof of the seriousness of the problem, please note this article doesn't include those arrested and gaoled in SA. If our contribution was insignificant we wouldn't be used at all, the fact that we have so few busts on SA soil is only a sign of the incompetence/involvement of the powers that be and the reason we are all been effected by the extra vigilance at foreign borders when they see a SA passport. A bad name reputation well deserved, unfortunately.

      Gail - 2011-12-19 12:13

      So Vegi, you concede that this is not necessarily a plot by foreign powers and/or antiANC agents to discredit South Africa. Huge is a quantative adjective and in the context is perfectly true. In addition you are now claiming that these mules are stupid people unlike yourself. That is a bit harsh. Whose computer are you using and who pays your salary? Bet you are a card carrying ANC member who is merely trying to draw fire from the incompetent civil servce they provide while awarding themselves massive bonuses for jobs supposedly well done. I hope you notice how many thumbs down your badly researched but well written posts are getting.

  • sarah.bouttell - 2011-12-18 20:30

    I pointed out on a previous drug related article how stupid we look in the eyes of the rest of the world, and I had a gent argue, that he was well travelled and my opinion was simply not true. Perhaps not the whole world, but as long as we have the right combination of naivety and desperation born of more than 40 percent of our population living below the breadline, we have a problem. That combined with our easy to copy passports, lax border control, ineffective policing, and overworked judicial system, we certainly look like fools in the eyes of crime syndicates.

      Vegi - 2011-12-18 20:43

      I don't know the reasoning behind your hysterical and factual inaccurate post. For your information South Africa is unknown in the world of drug trade. It is a minor player. Fake documents are a worldwide phenomenon. Europe and America are leaders in this field, but due to them being involved in fraudulent activities for centuries, criminal standards there are very high and it is virtually impossible to spot a European and American fake. Africans and Asians are new in this field of fraud and are therefore amateurish, hence it is a walk in the park to spot their crude fakes.

      sarah.bouttell - 2011-12-18 21:09

      *yawn*,which part of my post was "factual inaccurate"(sic). We have been flagged for some now, as a hub for human trafficking, laundering of inetnationally stolen goods, card fraud and fake goods. Hysterical, really is not my style, more like aware, and well informed. Again, our borders are lax, and our ability to prosecute is limited. We have massively busy sea ports, and a small percentage of the containers are actually checked. You, should consider doing more research. We might be small in terms of drug trade, but as a hub into the rest of Africa, we have a very nasty reputation.

      Carlin - 2011-12-18 21:34

      @vegi Your comments are all, without exception, of the knee-jerk, predictable and boring variety, much like the drivel we get from your political friends daily, and about as valueless. No further comment.

      Pixie86 - 2011-12-19 09:06

      can someone please provide links, facts and statistics on these so-called child trafficking, money laundering, fraud etc that south africa is apparently the leader of. Never mind that asian, european and american countries have been tipped to be the leaders in these industries?

  • Jan - 2011-12-18 20:47

    What do you expect with the examples our country's leadership are setting. SA is losing it's moral fibre at breakneck speed. We are fast becoming the world's second Nigeria.

  • Bob - 2011-12-18 20:49

    South Africa’s reputation is more tarnished internationally than most people realise. Beside the drug mule and drug dealing fiascos, go onto EBay and try buy something from et al a Chinese supplier. Many of these beloved Chinese friends and gamaats of our beloved President Zuma will not ship products to South Africa anymore. I don’t have to answer the question as to why they won’t We have in many ways caught up to, or maybe even surpassed Nigeria as the African capital of corruption in the eyes of the world. On the local front, drug use and drug dealing is on a scale unimaginable to the average straight laced South African. Police involvement in its distribution is also evident.

      Dean Kenad - 2011-12-18 21:02

      Latest reports say we are 2nd to kenya on world economic crimes ( corruption) scale. How long before we climb to that height on drugs?

      Vegi - 2011-12-18 21:19

      Dean Kenad When will you stop believing garbage reports.

      Vegi - 2011-12-18 21:21

      Bob The source of your information being?

      John - 2011-12-19 00:25

      @ Vegi; I can see why your mommy called you "Vegi".

  • stephan.steyn1 - 2011-12-18 20:50

    to be honest and im a south african, but who is dumb enough to carry so much drugs and knowing you will get caught!! stupid people and blame Home affairs department for making such crappy passports!

      Karmah - 2011-12-18 22:19

      Money talks, also i think it;s a diversion taktic. That girl with teh coke in her dreadlocks for example. How long you think it took them to remove all of it from her hair, while the REAL amount of drugs was safely being smuggled through. It's a sick sick sick world we live in and people will kill you for anything!

      Gail - 2011-12-19 12:25

      Stephan, unfortunately these "dumb" people are not frequent flyers and are probably not aware of the procedures customs may go through. In addition, there is also the faint but possible fact that those in whose luggage the drug is found were neither paid nor aware that their luggage was tampered with enroute and may well be innocent which is why I oppose the death penalty. Innocent and naive people do get targeted in countries like Brazil etc. quite unknowingly especially if they have routed their luggage straight through to Bangkok. Miss dreadlocks obviously was aware of being a mule as braiding this into her hair required her partcipation. Claiming that she was drugged while it was done will only get her deeper in the dwang. Janice Linden was under the radar for a long time but it would be interesting to know where her embarkation point was.

  • pal.mabelane - 2011-12-18 21:07

    1. I blame Home Affairs and International Relations former Foreign Affairs Departments for making itr easy for people to obtain SA citizenship. Before the UK introduced a visa regime for SA, it was easy for people from other African countries to come live in SA for five years , obtain citizenship and move to London. 2. Newsflash, South Africa has always been a drug haven, particularly Cape Town, PE and Durban Ports. 3.Crime pays only when you're a politician

      Buck - 2011-12-19 08:08

      Before you blame the foreigners for drug smuggling wont it be better to do a bit of research into how many of the mules convicted are non native S Africans?

  • Carlin - 2011-12-18 21:24

    Why is this a surprise? Military intelligence predicted this as far back as 1991. I attended the briefing.

      MadaofTwo Senkoto - 2011-12-19 09:57

      Then why is it that people are blaming the current government which came into place 3 years later?

  • alexander721 - 2011-12-18 21:48

    do the same thing here. make the penalty for drugs here the same as it is in china and the likes. see how drug trafficking slows down. authorities here obviously still do not realise what drugs are doing to our country's youth.

      Lynn - 2011-12-19 07:32

      They don't care.

      Nomfezeko - 2011-12-19 11:31

      @alexander, our government is our aware of this drug issue and they are not prepared to do anything about it, possible that they are also gaining from this (revenue). remember we recently had a Minister's wife dealing in drugs and it shows that top officials are aware. Secondly, our Home Affairs is so loose, our boarder are so loose, therefore South Africa is a drug haven, its a shame.

  • Hartmut - 2011-12-18 21:48

    I would be more happy to have those drugs not that freely available in our cities. We rather should care about that and the corrupt metro police which is under the same blanket than our drug lords. It is justto easy to get drugs here and that involves all of us, especially our children. I would rather trade our name overseas for better control inside our country here.

  • Siso - 2011-12-18 21:54

    Come on guys do we honestly have to blame the government for everything that is going wrong in South Africa, well I dont think so and I understand that some of us doesnt like our current government/system. We had a bad perception of Nigerian guys being the bad ones and now its the other way around, or we suddenly realise that drug dealings/trafficking is the best way to go and now its unfortunate that all travelling south africans suffer the consequences. Vegi I agree with some of the guys you are really making pointless arguments or maybe you didn't understand the article..

      Karmah - 2011-12-18 22:21

      Yes we do need to blame this useless governemnt! They are not doing their jobs and clearly do not know where there prioritys lie. Instead of spending the money on better healthcare,housing, education and rehabilitaion, they spend it on luxury cars and R100 000 000 Parties. Or are you ok with that?

      Pixie86 - 2011-12-19 08:59

      @karmah, if your child was arrested for drug trafficking would you blame the government? If your child turned to an alcoholic or a druggie is that the government's fault. We can't blame the government for individual choices made by individual south africans. Get over yourself.

      Nomfezeko - 2011-12-19 11:37

      @Siso, Nigerians are behind these young women getting arrested abroad, many cases have been reported. Nigerians are a small fish, there are big fishes who are untouchable, whom Nigerians are working for. Yes government is to blame, whe have departments who should be tight in ensuring that this crime is not taking place, passport are not forged etc.

      Sarie - 2011-12-19 12:32

      How do you think the people gets hold of the drugs? Mostly from Nigerians in our country. I have had experience where I have and address and details from one of the majors manufacturers of Welconal and tried to relay it, but alas, there were so many laws about juridsdictions and everything that in the ind these people just got away and are probably still manufacturing their stuff!!!

  • Chaapo - 2011-12-18 21:59

    South Africans want easy money that's why. It is not surprising when the fish started rotting from the top. nevertheless it is not a justifiable reason because, despite the corruption of most African "leaders", other Africans will do the grind to sustain themselves.

      Karmah - 2011-12-18 23:44

      Close the borders. Stop letting more and more people in with false promises of job oppertunities. STOP handing out citizenship like it was candy. Be more strict about government grants. Slowly but surely it could get better IF these implementations were made? Again.. i'm just saying...

  • Dean Kenad - 2011-12-18 22:00

    @vegi the sooner we accept there's a big problem and begin to tackle it the better for us....but if we stick to your delusional theory of conspiracy against SA then the only way is to destruction.

  • Renier - 2011-12-18 22:31

    Drug consumption in South Africa is twice the world norm. 15% of South Africa's population have a drug problem. Drug abuse is costing South Africa R20-billion a year and could pose a bigger threat to the country's future than the Aids pandemic. The recently-released United Nations World Drug Report had named South Africa as one of the drug capitals of the world. One Rand in four in circulation in SA is linked to the substance abuse problem - 2009. For more info:

  • Sboh - 2011-12-18 23:10

    The ANC lead Government must celebrate now.

      Pixie86 - 2011-12-19 08:53

      what's the government got to do with this?

      Humble - 2011-12-19 14:22

      Um Pixie, falsification of ID's comes from possibly the most corrupt department of Home Affairs does it not?... a department led by our controlling party.

  • akaRags - 2011-12-19 00:53

    "She cried uncontrollably after being caught with 1kg of crystal meth hidden in her underwear" - She cried uncontrollably because she got caught & knew she was in a whole lot of trouble, not because she had a conscience. If she had had a conscience in the first place, she would not have been part of the drug trade. It's easy to blame the drug "king pins" but the mules who knowingly smuggle for the king pins are not simple victims, they are also part of the problem too, whatever their social history/background is. To say many mules are financially strapped & desperate - hmmmm, I don't know if I buy that one. I may have access to the internet, but I can guarantee anyone that I don't make a lot of money on a nurses salary (and I'm not a registered nurse either for that matter, so I earn less) and with a husband who has recently had two big ops in the last year because of cancer & works from home, he makes less than I do. I ride a 25 year old motorbike around because I can not afford much more...... so what's stopping me from looking for ways of making a "quick buck", particularly in the drug trade? I have a conscinece. I know drugs destroy lives & I will not be part of that. Simple. I live within my means and I'm at peace with that - I may not have the "bling" of life, and I'm no worse off for it. Probably better off. Pity more people don't realize that.

      Lynn - 2011-12-19 07:38

      Well said.

  • Elsie - 2011-12-19 05:11

    South Africa need to be very strict in granting citizenship to each and every individual, we are requested to apply for visa to each and every country we travel to, cos other countries are clear with their story "not all south african citizens are "citizens", as is soo easy to be granted citizenship", its so easy, you need to be married to a south african and stay in a country for at least 5yrs, what is 5yrs, foreigners have been living in other countries for more than 40yrs and they are still renewing their residences up until to date, Home Affairs need to change this rule of granting each and every individual our status

      Buck - 2011-12-19 08:10

      Dont confuse issues Elsie, the mules who have been caught are all bona fide SAfricans who want a quick buck. I am not disagreeing with your point but just feel its a bit misplaced.

  • Wesley - 2011-12-19 05:41

    You see minister, thats why the search your handbags

  • Errol - 2011-12-19 06:19

    South Africa breeds crime;it's does crime;it's system cannot control or does it have the skills to combat crime!Of it's leaders are criminals;in all facets of government.The sense of entitlement, and, 'TAKE' is in the genes of the majority of it's citizens.It's part of the d n a.South Africa is simply a good spot where to learn crime or do crime........

      Pieter - 2011-12-19 09:11


  • Silvana - 2011-12-19 06:23

    What did you expect from a country that is corrupt to it's very core and gives sanctuary to criminals from other countries?

  • Timothy - 2011-12-19 06:45

    Again why not legalize it and regulate the industry, (tobaco and alchol is perfectly legal). The government will make a killing from the profit which can be redistributed into the population. Drugs will not be as hazardous i.e cocaine will be pure not mixed with rat poison or whatever they use to cut it with. You will wipe out a huge percentage of gangs and gang related violance which usually relates to drug use and turf wars. The fact of the matter is you cannot stop a person from doing drugs, if they want to use it they will find a way to get it no matter what, the government might as well take advantage from the situation and cash in on it. While at the same time making drug use a little bit "safer" for the user

      Pieter - 2011-12-19 09:13

      I agree, since rape and murder are already legalized...

  • Angling - 2011-12-19 06:56

    Hmmmm...and where is the connection with fake passports? All of the mentioned in the article drug "mulles" seems to be arrested using legitimate travel documents.

  • Piet - 2011-12-19 07:06

    The Nigerian cancer is slowly corrupting nations on the continent. South Africans are merely the puppets used by them.

  • Hennie - 2011-12-19 07:47

    Bunch of idiots, pls keep them.

  • Dosunmu Afeez - 2011-12-19 08:14

    Why do South Africans like blaming other people for their woes. You blame Nigerians for helping these mules but they've got several options to either accept, reject and also report to the the Authorities. Its greed, poverty and unemployment that is causing all these. Stop blaming other people and put your house in other. Don't wait for the government to do things for you. There are opportunities everywhere to Tap from and stop blaming the govt and foreigners. Its a shame Nigerians are the ones into drug smuggling and other crimes. I hope the Authorities do a total clamp down on them like they did in Mexico and other countries. I'm a Nigerian but I detest the sale n use of hard drugs.

      Mildly_Amused - 2011-12-19 10:24

      Just had to laugh at "report to the authorities". So you're willing to report a huge drug syndicate "to the authorities"? At the risk of your life and your family's lives? Knowing that "the authorities" is so inefficient that they wont even do anything with the information anyway? LOL!

  • Pixie86 - 2011-12-19 08:49

    i know some idiot is going to blame the government for decisions made by individual south africans

      Pieter - 2011-12-19 09:14

      Feel good about your government much...?

  • brettcch - 2011-12-19 09:00

    Crime is to SA is what watchmaking is to the Swiss

  • NtombiMasbeu - 2011-12-19 09:02

    i agree with you Karma.

  • Tshivhombela Fhatuwani - 2011-12-19 10:16

    Do we have to blame Zimbabweans when it's Nigerians who are masterminding all these smugglings? Come out if you have ever heard of any drug related case in SA that spares Nigerians involvement. I condemn the actions of drug mules as much as the actions Nigerians drug lords. I think the law enforcement agencies must put all mules on surveillance so that they can lead them to the recipients of these drugs.

  • MadaofTwo Senkoto - 2011-12-19 10:23

    I believe, the high rate of crime in SA is caused by "Human Rights". I'm sorry to say this but I think if you violate other people's rights then you should be strapped totally of your own rights. "An eye for an eye". A person shouldn't kill AT ALL, so if u kill then clearly you are not human then I don't see why you should have human rights. The outcome of drugs use is often death, so if you are involved in any activity of drug dealing then you should also be killed. If you are caught overseas with drugs our government shouldn't even bother trying to save you. NO CITIZEN OF OUR COUNTRY SHOULD BE ABOVE THE LAW.

  • jacques.brits2 - 2011-12-19 10:26

    Think about all the lives they would destroy if all the drugs would get through! I have no sympathy for them because they knew that what they were doing is wrong. For whatever reason they have for doing it, you got other options. So they must sit and take their punishment.

  • Gail - 2011-12-19 10:53

    Now we also know why that ANC official objected to her luggage being searched on diplomatic grounds not so long ago. Diplomats luggage is immune to these searches isn't it?

  • Mohsin - 2011-12-19 11:22

    howz about we stop all refugee immigrants coming here and f*#*ING things up first

  • Trevor - 2011-12-19 12:22

    And so many said, we will NEVER be like the rest of Africa...South Africa is no better than Zim..Nigeria...etc...we just another African state the ANC...only took them less than 17 years...Viva Anc VIVA...

  • Renier - 2011-12-19 12:22

    All blame to the government...? Yes they have got a lot to answer but what about the inherent decay of our Nation. Most people try their best to make ends meet with what they have others suddenly turn to crime with no remorse.

  • Sarie - 2011-12-19 12:27

    If you have lived with a loved one who has been a drug addict and saw him die when he OD'd, you will understand why I have NO sympathy for drug smugglers. I cannot understand why the Government invested so much money in the Smoking Act, but drugs and alcohol that are killing families and our young people in a worse way that smoking can do, are being put on the sideline.

  • monica.olwagen - 2011-12-19 12:58

    I went to Chili-South America on a business trip two years ago and I have never been " searched" the way I was searched then on any of my other overseas travels.

      Heiku - 2011-12-20 12:44

      That's because they make cocaine in chile. Unrelated.

  • Humble - 2011-12-19 14:19

    "“We do not have such a brilliant reputation anymore,” she said." WAY TO GO ANC! cant really blame anyone but them...

  • Moloto Mabonchi - 2011-12-20 02:49

    No one owns SA. Its a free for all here. So many illegal foreigners. So much crime. So much corruption. Poor education system. U hardly hear the government give direction abt solving social issues. What kind of a country are we if thew society is rotten.Who realy cares abt dis country?

  • tristan.kilian - 2011-12-20 08:56

    The government needs to cancel all residence permits for Nigerians and summarily deport them back to Nigeria. Problem solved. Simple.

  • Gwen - 2011-12-28 08:38

    Hush... Everytime I hear those words in private talks, people Hush immediately. Did you hear them too? Rumors say that just the rich people know all about it. Just do a G00GLE search for "BlueGoldHunt" all one word and click the first site that comes up.