Welkom woman released from Thai prison

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A 33-year-old woman from Thabong, Welkom, in the Free State, who was imprisoned for 10 years and 6 months in Thailand for drug trafficking, was released on 22 July.

This after a neighbour of Nontando Pendu offered her a job opportunity years ago to work in Thailand and China. Pendu took the opportunity without hesitation because she thought that she would be able to take her family out of poverty. When she arrived in Thailand she was approached by two Nigerian men that instructed her to transport drugs to China.

Pendu was threatened that her family would be killed if she failed to carry out instructions. She said she agreed to carry drugs wrapped around her. Pendu thought that even if she got arrested, she will be deported back to South Africa, which was not the case.

Pendu was arrested on 16 November 2008 and went on trial for eight months. She was sentenced to 100 years in prison, but because of good behavior, she would only serve 25 years, of which she served ten years and six months. Zandi Mashaba, from the Citizen Justice Network (CJN), said that Pendu will have to receive psychiatric therapy to help her debrief. Pendu explained that human trafficking is real and that parents should try to monitor every step of their children. She also stated that she is taking her time to guide and teach parents and young children about life and making the right decisions.

OFM News/Isaac Mosia