Johannesburg - A South African woman accused of smuggling cocaine hidden in her dreadlocks to Thailand was due to be sentenced in a Bangkok court on Monday.

Nolubabalo “Babsie” Nobanda, of Grahamstown, in the Eastern Cape, was arrested at the Bangkok International Airport in December last year for attempting to smuggle cocaine from Brazil to Thailand.

Police found 1.5kg of cocaine with an estimated street value of $150 000 in her dreadlocks. She admitted to authorities that she smuggled the drugs, and said she was hired to deliver the cocaine to a customer at a hotel in Bangkok. Since then she has been detained in prison.

Nobanda had been represented by a Bangkok state lawyer.

The family planned to send a legal adviser and a family member to attend the judgment, but her mother Honjiswa Mbewu confirmed on Sunday that the trip to Thailand was cancelled.

Neither she nor a legal adviser would be attending the judgement on Monday.

“I had to cancel my journey to that county because my doctor has indicated that I suffer from acute stress and may not be fit to travel,” she said.

Her safety was another reason for cancelling the trip.

“The syndicate which led Nobanda to Brazil had not yet been arrested by the South African authorities.” - Sapa