Drug Mules In Trial

Noluthando +-25 yrs

She is Linda’s friend in prison. Born and bred in Mpumalanga and her mother had her at a very young age. A tough cookie who is also wild. Started dating at an early age and also helping her mother to raise her younger sister and brother. Her first job was waitering at a restaurant in Witbank then later was promoted as an assistant manager. Her Nigerian boyfriend was staying with them, later he found own place where they stayed with Noluthando.

Being the wildest who even slept with some of her mother’s boyfriend…she dated her boyfriend’s friend. One day as he came home he caught them in bed and things got really nasty but as time went by he forgave her. Little did he know they still dating behind his back. They even started deal of making Noluthando a mule without his knowledge. She transported drugs for a while and would always tell her boyfriend that she is visiting relatives whenever she travels.

One day she got caught at O.R tambo from Brazil and the drugs were under the linning of the luggage bag, others were folded in Brazilian hair piece. The police only saw the drugs in the luggage so she asked her mother to keep hair extensions safe with the hope that she will be released soon and sell the drugs to other nigerians. The guy who is been using her vanished, he didn’t even respond to her calls.  She had to call her mom and the mom is the only person who visit her in prison and attending her court case. The real boyfriend doesn’t bother till to date.

Noluthando is very demanding, she expect her mother to pay for her attorney and demands that she visit her weekly, she constantly remind her mom that the family is living extravagant life because of her so this is payback time. Whatever she wants she must get and doesn’t want her mom to give excuses. On the other hand she is dating few ladies so that they can maintain her expensive life style. Dating in prison is weapon to survive, some date because they want to benefit from you and also that you can do their washing. She braids her hair weekly and puts new extensions every time she goes to court, remember when she is not going to court she has a lesbian look and they call her malume which means uncle. Going to court is like going to fashion show, they dress to kill in order to impress male prisoners, police &lawyers. She also has a crush on one of the warders whom she support daily with cigarettes, money and food.

She is always in trouble even though she wants to go home badly and know very well that misbehaviour can limit those chances. She and her group of friends have tendency to mugg new comers their chains, phones, carvella shoes and other valuables. They also threatened that if they report to guards they will beat them during lock up. During December they collect soft porridge and bread that is being served from the kitchen and make mqombothi(African beer) which they hide under their beds. Don’t forget they use those very same bucket used for mopping the floor.

The phones &money are not allowed in prison but Noluthando and others have them. During strip search they roll the phones &money with food plastic wrapper and insert them inside the virgina. Warders are now informed about this so some of them insist that the prisoners undress the painty and open their legs so they can check inside their virgina. One day Noluthando came from court and they are being strip searched before going back to cells, as she was searched…they noticed that she had something inside her virgina then was asked to take it out, unfortunately the phone was stuck and had to be rushed to hospital inside prison to remove it and was punished for this. Later came a white old lady…old enough to be Noluthando`s granny but she dated her and the lady was spoiling her by buying her toiletry, food, cigarettes and doing her washing. As she had other relationships, one lady decided to tell this white lady about it and she was furious. It became a huge fight that Noluthando had to boil this lady with gyser water, the lady was taken to hospital and Noluthando had an added case. Beside spending almost 4yrs in trial she was later sentenced 5yrs.

Lisa 19yrs

Lisa`s sister was married to a Nigerian and they lived in Mpumalanga with their son who was about 5yrs old. When Lisa found out about her sister`s death and the fact that the child was not getting good parental care as those who knew her kept calling, it really disturbed her that she had to come from Zambia leaving her own child with grandmother. She didn’t have much but decided it would be better to bring him home. In her journey to search for brother in law as she had no clue of his where about, she met a guy who could help but because of financial status while explaining to him, the man asked Lisa to do one trip to Brazil so she can have money to get to her brother in law.

Things didn’t go as planned because she got arrested and stayed almost 2yrs in trial without any visit. She had to do washing for other prisoners in exchange for food &toiletry, sometimes she braids or sew hair extensions to others then they pay her with cigarettes which she uses to buy whatever she needs from those who needs smoke. Cigarettes is replacement of money hence money is not allowed. People knew her situation and some would ask their families to bring extra food &toiletry so they can share with her. Those who normally bring prayers to prison, would sometimes visit her with grocery. Lisa was using state lawyer, she had lost hope and was tired that the case is dragging, it was not easy for her much as others were helping but others were taking advantage of her. She came to a point where by she was willing to accept any outcome, she even wished to be sentenced than to wait years in trial. She was later sentenced 15 yrs and her grandmother didn’t even know as she last saw her when coming to south Africa. This means by the time she finished her sentence..chances are her child will be a teenager.

Lizelle 21

Lizelle from Vereeniging an Afrikaans speaking cuttie,blinded by love,young and curvicious like an African lady. She had just turned 21yrs whilst in prison and has a beautiful baby girl whom she left with her boyfriend`s parents. Her mom was an ex-stripper who was married to another man but she did her best to support lizelle even though she couldn’t afford to pay for an attorney. She went with boyfriend to Sao Palo. This was their second trip and boyfriend was the organiser of this whole thing hence this time he planned to knock the Nigerians. First trip was in china and they managed to pass through but this time things didn’t go as planned. He was a smart ass….because he wanted Lizelle to hold the bag, indeed when they got caught..he told the police that he is innocent.

They spent almost 2yrs in trial and he only got himself an attorney & Lizelle had to use state lawyer. Things didn’t go well as he tried to pin everything to Lizelle and some of the male prisoners heard the story, so he got raped then couldn’t take it. He decided to write a letter then overdosed the pills, they rushed him to hospital but he died. Poor Lizelle was miserable and wanted to know what was written in the letter but it was given to the magistrate. She wouldn’t have known about this letter if it wasn’t for the other male prisoners who called to notify her about it.

The boyfriend`s family started to mean and threatening to take the baby &promising she will never see the baby again. She was later sentenced to 20yrs.

The aim of the writer is to make sure that the people come together and get the solution for this hence it is not only a south Africa problem but the whole world even though we know that some of the drug lords in other places they assist government or politicians financially but in the end we need to fight this because it is destroying our people in many ways.

Some of these ladies are dating the drug dealers, some are married to them, some get to be approached by these guys. Some of them are students and others are working and they often risk their jobs. It could be that some have responsibilities and their salary is too little. For some it could be to maintain their luxury life style while for others its desperation, unemployment and some need the money to pay for their studies.

This does not only happen to young girls..it happens to all age groups and all genders from different countries e.g Brazil, Paraguay ,Guyan (south America), Congo, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa. When it comes to Nigeria its only guys and they either transporting for themselves or others.

When I mentioned all age, there are older men & women believe me some are pensioners. Ive  met an old white man age between +- 78, using a walk stick, speaking Portuguese from Mozambique and he was on some medication. You could see that if he was to be sentenced 20-25 yrs he wouldn’t survive. There was also an old lady +- 65yrs from South Africa who got an accident on her way to court in Kempton Park from Johannesburg prison and she was in crushes then was sentenced 25yrs. She collapsed immediately and had to be taken to Chris Hani hospital. Apparently she was using the money to pay University fees for her children. They came to support their mom in court looking like models and very beautiful.

Another white old lady who is South African age between 65-75 yrs was approached while staying at old age home and took the offer. She got arrested but didn’t stay long in trial because she pleaded guilty then was sentenced 15yrs. There was also another old black lady from Mozambique age +- 70yrs , she stayed 2yrs in trial but was fortunate enough because her case was dismissed. She has been transporting for many years and her family is surviving through drugs money. She said she will continue transporting drugs but the only route that she will avoid is South Africa.

Another black lady at the age of +- 70 from Congo who spent +-3yrs in trial was also fortunate by getting a fine and paid it immediately. Her entire family is transporting drugs. While she was in trial, one of her son was imprisoned in one of these other countries and later was released. This lady was singing praises for the release of her son. Just like some of them she continued transporting a month after her release but using different route. This shows that some will quit and others will continue no matter the circumstances.

There is a black south African lady between 30-35 yrs , married to Nigerian guy. They have 2 kids and she is pregnant. She was in trial few years ago same drug dealing case then got a bail but later came back to trial and was sentenced with his husband 25 yrs each. They were cooking drugs at their house now she has to send the kids to her family in Durban and soon will give birth to the 3rd one  while in prison.

Here`s another Congolese, black lady 30yrs old who got arrested at airport with a 2 yrs old baby and she is pregnant . the social worker took her baby and she was trial worried about the child, she decided to call husband back in Congo, the husband came to south Africa so he can take the child back to Congo, unfortunately also got arrested as he arrives at the airport. Now both parents are in prison not knowing whats happening to the child and don’t even know whats going to be the verdict. She later gave birth and continued attending court until her case was dismissed.

Poura a 30-35 yrs old Brazilian with 3 children, who got arrested while pregnant. You could see that she is really desperate and is doing it to feed her family. She has spent more than 2yrs in trial then gave birth whilst attending her case in Kempton Park. The baby is now almost 1 yr . Her friend Maida a Spanish speaking 35yrs old lady who is from boulivia has left children with the husband. Whilst in trial for almost 2 yrs she found herself a girlfriend ( coloured south African lady) who was discharged later but continued to visit Maida and bring all the necessity. Later Maida was sentenced to 12 yrs and the girlfriend still visit her till to date. You can imagine being in a foreign country with no one to visit you as it happens to others who are not as fortunate as Maida. Apparently the Brazilians & Boulivians get money from their embassy, its not every month but it makes a difference.

Samantha is a South American lady who is +40 yrs from a place called Guyan, she has left 7 children at home and spent about 3 yrs in trial then got sentenced 5 yrs. She is one of the fortunate people because the Nigerian whom she worked for…is the same guy she dated and he was taking care of her, she gets visit every week.

Beatrice is a coloured lesbian from Namibia, 35-40, married but no children. She owns a pub and her 4 brothers are also business owners. They were shocked when they heard she has been arrested. Then they came to south Africa to find her an attorney. The brothers and an attorney came to an agreement to pay the jugde. She was then released after spending less than a year in trial.

Nelau was also from Namibia, coloured between 30-35 yrs, she is HIV positive and has 1 child. Very loud and outspoken character. She always makes jokes about people who are in denial and makes an announcement whenever she takes her ARV`s or if she wants food, will let people know that she needs to eat so that she can take her ARV`s. Much as she likes to joke but would always encourage people to test and not to be embarrassed about their status. She dated a police officer at Kempton Park police station and the Nigerian who sent her to transport drugs is her boyfriend. The Nigerian guy always sends money so she can buy food and pay her attorney. She used to tell these other ladies to stop bragging about being married or dating the Nigerians because they don’t even care about them hence they don’t visit them or send them money to get lawyers that is why most of them are using states lawyers. She spent more than a year in trial and was released. Since she had to fix her papers before going back to Namibia, she spent 2 weeks at her police boyfriend`s house. It is believed that this police is dating most of these ladies so that when they come to court she buys them food and when they are released, those who come from other countries spent some time at his place.

Jewel is a Bolivian, very gorgeous 22 yrs old and had a child at the age of 12. She speak Spanish and Portuguese and has spent more than a year in trial. With the help of her boyfriend whom she met at Kempton Park court, she was released and had to stay for a month at this guy`s house. She then went home and came back and they got married. This(black south African) attorney used to pay police so that Jewel can be taken out of court cell and spent some time with him before going back to sun city prison known as Johannesburg prison.

Letticia from Paraguay she is about 36 yrs and has 2 beautiful children, the eldest is 15 yrs  and young one is +_ 10 yrs, married to a drug lord who is also a Paraguayan. Immediately when she got arrested, husband came to south Africa and rented a hotel so he can support his wife. She gets a huge visit every week when he is around because he still takes care of business, travelling in and out of South Africa. He also spend lot of money to pay the attorney who promised to bribe the judge so that she can be released but this bogus attorney(Ghananian guy married to south African lady) apparently has fraudulent papers and most of his client are drug mules and attend at Kempton park court. Many of them were released free, some with fine and some were arrested. Later he started to be absent during court without notifying his clients. Time went by and clients were not happy, some pulled out, some demanding their money back and others opened a case against him. It was claimed his papers for representing clients have expired so he then arranged that his wife and the other 2 guys will represent client but still didn`t notify clients. This came as a shock to his clients.

Linda is a South African +_30 yrs old one of the client who pulled out from this bogus attorney because of bad service. Her case had to be postponed several times because of attorney absence and it was frustrating her. She left 3 kids and she is from royal family. Her mom would come from Durban and stay at hotel so that she can visit Linda in prison but her Nigerian husband decided to cut ties because she went to Brazil behind his back and was sent by husband`s friend. She has been in trial for 2&half yrs then was sentenced 10yrs. When Linda got arrested the drugs were wrapped around his body, others were packed in the shoes which were packed in her luggage.

She dated couple ladies in prison for security and for back up of cigarette and food. She had a on and off relationship with Yolandi (white lady from Free State, strong and bully) who was also arrested for drugs that were found in her stomach. Linda used to fight or threaten other ladies who were dating Yolandi. They never wanted to be separated as they were sleeping in one bed and it wasn’t allowed, if it happens that one has been moved to another cell, they would always find ways to be in same cell.  One of their friend Asanda had drugs packed in lap top and she was also arrested and was released after spending almost 3yrs in trial. The sad thing is she still continues because she plans to knock the merchandise and start her own drug dealing business so that she can take care of her siblings since they don’t have parents. She has a degree and wanted to make sure that her siblings also go to varsity.