Cape Town – A 4-year-old KwaZulu-Natal boy who was travelling with his mother, Nokuphila Mtshali, when she was arrested at a Mauritius airport last month for allegedly smuggling drugs in her vagina has been returned to South Africa.
Patricia Gerber‚ of advocacy organisation Locked Up in a Foreign Country, said on Facebook on Tuesday: "I received awesome news today concerning the little one who was with his mother when she was arrested in Mauritius.
"Dirco (Department of International Relations and Co-operation) in collaboration with Social Development and SAA brought the child of the girl in Mauritius safely home and he is now with his grandmother and family."
"A big thank you to Dirco, Social Development and SAA for bringing the little one safely home."
According to Lexpress, a news website in Mauritius, Mtshali was arrested at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Airport by officers from the Anti-Drug and Smuggling Unit and the Customs Anti-Narcotics Section of the Mauritius Revenue Authority.
The website said Mtshali, 34, was arrested on September 15 with 528 grams of heroin, worth R8 million, hidden in her vagina. Her child was placed in the care of the Child Development Unit.
She later co-operated in a sting operation where two Nigerian men – Endubuisi Samuel Ebielonwu and Eze Collins – were arrested.
Dirco spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele said last week the department was in contact with Mtshali’s family.
“We are offering consular services to the family,” he said. These services would extend to the family being able to travel to Mauritius to see Mtshali.
Law enforcement authorities also seized cellphones, drugs and money. The three accused have been charged with drug dealing with aggravating circumstances and the importation of drugs with warning of trafficking at the Bail and Remand Court in Mauritius.