SA woman in Thai court on drug charge

2012-06-11 20:40

Johannesburg - A South African woman accused of smuggling cocaine appeared in court in Thailand on Monday, her family said.

Nolubabalo "Babsie" Nobanda, of Grahamstown, in the Eastern Cape, was arrested at the Bangkok International Airport in December 2011 for allegedly attempting to smuggle cocaine hidden in her dreadlocks.

Her mother Honjiswa Mbewu said she had appeared in a court in Bangkok on a charge of drug trafficking. The matter was postponed to 18 June for judgment.

She said the two security officers who arrested her testified that Nobanda co-operated and freely confessed to trafficking in drugs.

She said the court heard evidence that the cocaine Nobanda was carrying was mixed with baking powder.

In a letter to her family, which they received this week, Nobanda said she was in good spirits and upbeat about the judgment.

She said she would be convicted of attempting to smuggle 600g of cocaine and not 1.5kg as reported earlier.

The family was expected to send a legal adviser and a family member to attend the judgment.

"I can confirm to you that a family member will travel to attend court and we are very optimistic at this stage," she said.

Nobanda had been represented by a Bangkok state lawyer.

The family had also obtained letters of reference and support from people who knew Nobanda, among them two Eastern Cape judges.

Churches and charity groups have also written to the court asking for a lenient sentence.

In her letter, Nobanda asked her family to forgive her.

"First and probably the most important thing I want to say is I am sorry to all of you. I know that I have disappointed, hurt and humiliated the whole family. I ask for forgiveness," she wrote.

  • Squeegee - 2012-06-11 20:48

    Cocaine in her druglocks means life in jail.

      Sechaba30 - 2012-06-11 20:51

      Chief you know nothing about Cocaine trafficking in Thailand, you get about 5yrs.

      tony.kirby1 - 2012-06-11 21:30

      How much time for the baking powder?

      spartanx93 - 2012-06-11 21:33

      Sechaba, you can get the death penalty for drug smuggling in Thailand!

      Jimmy - 2012-06-11 21:38

      @Sechaba, some countries are serious about crime.(Hard as it might be to believe if you live here in SA)

      Ian - 2012-06-11 21:43

      sechaba the penalty for drug traffiking in thailand is death

      Jessica - 2012-06-11 21:54

      They probably put her in the kitchen to bake some cakes with baking powder Tony

      kayley.segal - 2012-06-11 23:31

      Don't confuse Sechaba30 with the facts....

      michel.pieterse - 2012-06-12 03:55

      That will teach her for mixing baking powder with coke!

      Sharon - 2012-06-17 18:53

      i hope the new police commissioner has the guts to order the police to climb in and rid us of the drug cartells once and for all,these sick things are destriying our kids lives and they should be put down like rabbid dogs

  • howard.komati - 2012-06-11 20:57


  • Jean-Marc - 2012-06-11 21:15

    If you stupid, you must suffer. Give her the MAXIMUM sentence. Fullstop.

      Helmut - 2012-06-12 09:11

      Not stupid,greeeedy

  • Jimmy - 2012-06-11 21:18

    Being a South African she can always know she will be made a hero on 702 when she comes out in 2037. Write a book or draw some art of dubious taste and the 25 years there would have been well spent when someone gives you a deal for millions(inflation factored)

  • lynda.pitcher.1 - 2012-06-11 21:19

    greed greed greedy greedy.......sorry, a bit late now, everyone knows how the East treats drug smugglers....why should you be let off???

  • Martin - 2012-06-11 21:35

    I cannot believe churches and charity groups writing letters asking for a lenient sentance. Dont those people know that drugs destroy families.If you are going to do the crime do the time come on people trafficking drugs is against the law we all know that. It is not as if she is a child who still needs to learn right from wrong.Bottom line if you get caught you should be on your own.Life is about making a choice if you make the wrong one then be responsible for your actions we are all adults here.Drug mules ,drug lords ,who ever does drugs should suffer the wrath of the law in that country wherever that may be.

      Helmut - 2012-06-12 09:17

      Plus two clever judges

  • Ian - 2012-06-11 21:41

    dont these morons ever learn, smuggling poison that destroys lives, the hangman awaiteth

  • Vic - 2012-06-11 21:48

    No lenient sentence. Life in jail, irrespective of amount. She knew full well it is illegal. Don't ask government help !

  • Erna - 2012-06-11 21:49

    At least court procedures move a lot quicker in Thailand than they do in SA. Here she would be waiting for a translator for a couple of years at least.

  • Mtk.the.poet - 2012-06-11 22:01

    Then we pray \forgive us our tresspasses as we forgive those who tresspasses against us\ yet we talk anti-forgiveness as if she's a criminal,what about the big bosses who paid her to do the job?

      Koos - 2012-06-12 07:43

      MMmmm sorry again but she IS A CRIMINAL! Being black doesn't change that. Being stupid doesn't change that and blaming someone else doesn't change that.

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2012-06-11 22:22

    she must be given a life sentence. Her drugs could have destroyed families and killed young people. Let the bitch rot in jail.

      nngcani - 2012-06-11 23:18

      Why r u saying that take ths and put it in ur shoes,or maybe ur nt a parent nt ur sister thats why u dnt feel the pain pls stop thnking like a animal

      Squeegee - 2012-06-12 08:19

      nngcani what I don't understand is that you have sympathy for the criminal and her family but none for the multiple victims and their families. Are you one of those despicable people who condone crime and violence?

  • Barefoot - 2012-06-11 23:11

    Yeah she deserves to be punished because she knowingly and willingly broke the law but death is taking it too far- i wouldn't necessarily blame her for people taking drugs, they are not forced to use them they go out looking for them their lives get ruined you blame the dealer? sure dealers can be blamed somewhat, but most saw a market for drugs and started selling because of the need for their products- just like petrol stations get opened when more cars are made not the other way round

      mmopa.ramollo - 2012-06-12 09:38

      Like she was not forced to traffic drugs right? She did it for the love of money and quickly she wanted to get it, not matter what. This is trully no matter what. She must suffer the consequences.

  • neo.moate - 2012-06-11 23:17

    It hurts to firstly read about a person in your country(that u dnt knw) has been caught for drug smuggling, learn how helpless the family is in this kind of situation and lastly hear her beg for forgiveness... Its tough

  • Wayne Klasen - 2012-06-11 23:33

    Sorry just does not do it. Too late now!

  • wayne.summers3 - 2012-06-12 01:49

    Do the Crime do the time. If she had got away with it how many more lives would have been destroyed by the drugs she had smuggled.I do not feel sorry for drug mules they are just as bad as the dealers. NO SYMPATHY SUFFER like you would have made others Suffer.

  • Marius - 2012-06-12 02:54

    How many innocent lives would she have helped to distroy? I feel nothing for her as she felt nothig for anyone but her own greed. I love the Thai approach

      alansmartSnr - 2012-06-17 19:04

      Shame.. and all she wanted to do was to bake a Coke pie

  • lerato.kay.3 - 2012-06-12 05:48

    She is just a small fish; she must tell it all and expose the big fish who send her. She must do her time though

  • charles.brink.90 - 2012-06-12 06:23

    Sorry lady, no sympathy to you 'drug-mules' or 'kingpins' ! You can be glad you are not in Saudi Arabia, there you will be 'headless' in no time.....

  • edward.herbst - 2012-06-12 07:49

    It seems to me that people in SA think that her only crime was that of getting caught

  • tebalob - 2012-06-12 07:54

    churches? asking for leniency in a drug case? for someone who stated categorically that she knew what she was doing? I mean the problem here is that she got caught..had she not been caught how many times was she going to do this,how many lives would be destroyed? What kind of country have we become????

      Koos - 2012-06-12 08:04

      You forget that we have churches and their leaders queuing to bless saints like Malema and zipper-boy. What have this country become... FOR SALE, that’s what this country has become. It doesn't matter if you are right or wrong, guilty or not. Nobody cares about the consequences until they get caught.

  • mcmamedzi - 2012-06-12 08:52

    I think ur words and attitude r more dangerous than drugs, judge her if u r clean and pure, bcoz u r not caught in ur crime doesn't make u r any better, life afforded u second chances, the first chance u get u want to condemn somebody, shame on u...

      pumlapush.zenani - 2012-06-18 12:02

      Sorry Babsie vent your anger and frustrations to God He will never jugde you and never stop praying miracles happened

  • cnukeri - 2012-06-12 09:08

    We all suffer the consequences of our own mistakes and risks that we take.

  • Ally - 2012-06-12 11:31

    If she was so well connected --- people who knew Nobanda, among them two Eastern Cape judges --- then she certainly should have known better before she set off on that little money-making venture. Pretty damn dumb, or maybe just plain arrogance.

  • pmalungana - 2012-06-13 14:05

    money is the source of all evils, and has created the kind of society which is morally bankrupt

  • renetown - 2012-06-26 00:32

    I don't justify what she did but in some cases people feel they have no other choice but to do these things for money some even get forced into it. No body deserves the death penalty for being stupid or weak or desperate. 1,5KG of coke is not even a drop in the ocean. Find out the facts before you condemn the person..

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