Drug mule Nolubabalo Nobanda cooked her family Thai food for Christmas - report

2019-12-29 21:20
South African drug mule Nolubabalo Nobanda. (Daily Sun, file)

South African drug mule Nolubabalo Nobanda. (Daily Sun, file)

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Drug mule Nolubabalo Nobanda may have spent her first Christmas at home in eight years but she still ate Thai food on December 25, according the Sunday Times.

Nobanda was arrested at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport in December 2011 after getting off a Qatar Airways flight when approximately 1.5kg of cocaine, with an estimated street value of R1.2m was found in her dreadlocks, News24 previously reported.

She told Thailand authorities at the time of her arrest that she had been hired to deliver the drugs to a customer at a hotel in Bangkok. 

Initially sentenced to 30 years in prison, Nobanda's sentence was first halved and then reduced by a further two-and-a-half years in May, News24 previously reported.

Nobanda told the Sunday Times that the staple food in prison is rice and soup. 

"Missionaries used to visit us - especially foreign prisoners - on Christmas. They would bring us lunch, if they could, and small presents just to brighten up the day and prison life."

Learnt to cook

Thailand recognises Buddhism which does not celebrate Christmas. 

Nobanda who learnt to cook Thai food while in prison served this to them on Christmas day.

Her mother was happy to have her child home this year to join in celebrations.

"It would be hardest during family time, like Christmas, and hard for us to be jolly and be fully in the festive mood because of her not being around. But this year our prayers have been answered," she told the publication. 

Nobanda now has a Unisa communication science degree which she achieved while in prison. She has however found it hard to adapt since returning to South Africa. 

She said many of her friends have married while others have had children. 

"Their lives have moved forward while mine was stuck in one place. When I left, my sister was nine, now she is 18."

- Compiled Vanessa Banton

Read more on:    nolubabalo nobanda  |  drugs
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