Convicted SA drug mule Nolubabalo Nobanda received a warm welcome from family and friends when she arrived at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on Thursday. Nobanda was arrested in Thailand in 2011 after she was caught at a Bangkok airport smuggling drugs hidden in her dreadlocks.
Henk Vanstaen‚ a Thai resident who helped facilitate Nobanda’s return‚ told DispatchLIVE that he believed Nobanda had come away for the ordeal a changed woman.
“She has definitely learnt from this experience. She has come out a better person‚ not only in terms of getting a degree and education‚ but in terms of her mental strength.”
Does she deserve a hero’s welcome? Twitter is divided.
Black child, they tried to dehumanize you by parading you in front of cameras while they arrest drug dealers daily in silence. You've served your time, happy returns and don't be distracted by the holy than thou ones, it's time to rebuild your life. #NolubabaloNobanda
— Mane (@Vuyani_Mat) September 20, 2019
The trauma that #nolubabalonobanda and her family have lived with for 8 years. I believe her side of the story. Hope she rebuilds her life, writes a book, make a movie about her situation, konke. God is good. So happy for her and her family to experience her come home finally.
— ♕Regnant Queen♕ (@Bello_Q) September 20, 2019
To be honest, I'm really excited that #NolubabaloNobanda has finally reunited with her family. Now, everyone could help her settle back in nicely by not calling her a drug mule, she's Nolubabalo. Akere le Schabir Shaik is not called a fraudster… #WelcomeHomeNolubabaloNobanda pic.twitter.com/3O47n41xkA
— Kokwele M. Phillix 🇿🇦 (@Matome_Kay) September 19, 2019
People celebrating the return of #NolubabaloNobanda like she climbed Kilimanjaro Mountain or won an Olympic gold medal. This lady is no hero. She wanted to be a slayqueen. Had she not be caught, she would've destroyed lives of many Thai citizens with those drugs she was smuggling
— Nandi🔥Cakes (@CakesNandi) September 19, 2019
I just remember that video with those men taking out the drugs out of her hair. Babsie looking clueless as they spoke to camera in a language she didnt know. Hope she's learnt from this. Good luck to her as she rebuilds her life #NolubabaloNobanda
— Nelisa Ngqulana (@Neli_Ngqulana) September 19, 2019
— uGxabhashe 🦁 (@Ntethehxulu) September 19, 2019
#NolubabaloNobanda people reducing this woman to a retarded/brainless victim who had no idea of what she was getting herself into, and in this way justify their sympathy for her. Shame!
— Unpopular opinion (@Mr_brown01) September 20, 2019
Hayi SATAFRIKA,now we celebrating drug mules!! #nolubabalonobanda
— Godfrey dandadzi (@Guffy_4) September 20, 2019
As someone who followed this story quite closely, I am pleased to see #NolubabaloNobanda reunited with her family. The rest of you who just jump on bandwagons with little to no facts really should afford yourself the opportunity to gather facts and draw an informed opinion.
— Siphesihle🇸🇿Lonsundvu (@Claire__M__) September 20, 2019
Why are ya'll celebrating u drug mule?
— Sange (@Yolo_Lwethu) September 20, 2019