16 October 2018 – 13:50
By Naledi Shange
A SA woman has been arrested in Mauritius for allegedly trying to smuggle heroin into the country.
Patricia Gerber‚ who heads advocacy organisation Locked Up in a Foreign Country‚ said on Tuesday that Thami Nomathamsanqa Dyasi’s arrest had been reported on by the media in Mauritius.
According to the reports‚ the 30-year-old Dyasi had left SA in September on what was said to be a holiday but was subsequently caught with numerous pellets of heroin weighing more than 1.25kg.
“She had concealed in her private parts 11 heroin (pellets) and 69 others in her stomach‚” read the article.
It was reported that she was hospitalised after her arrest where about 79 pellets were recovered.
The department of international relations and cooperation spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya told TimesLIVE on Tuesday: “We are aware of her arrest. We will visit her in prison on the 19th. We will only be able to communicate after that.”
Mauritian media reported that “on the basis of certain information” the authorities had swooped on the hotel where Dyasi was staying on the island.
“As a radiological examination detected the presence of foreign bodies in her stomach‚ she was admitted to the North Hospital under police surveillance and placed under laxative treatment‚” Mauritian media reported.
Gerber expressed concern over the growing number of South Africans being detained in Mauritius for alleged drug possession.
She told TimesLIVE that Dyasi was the seventh to be arrested in the country since April.
“The question is how they get past the OR Tambo International Airport‚” she said‚ suggesting that those arrested could be just decoys.
“At the end of the day‚ the drug lords who are here in SA are protected‚” said Gerber.
She said that they never got their day in court as those with evidence against them remained locked up in foreign countries.
Gerber called on the SA government to intervene‚ saying locals who were caught overseas for such crimes should be brought back to the country to serve their sentences at home.
“I am not condoning their actions but it would be better for them to serve here where they can be closer to their families. Some of these women are mothers and their children growing up never knowing them‚” she said.