Nolubabalo Nobanda

Durban - Convicted South African drug mule Nolubabalo Nobanda, who made international headlines after being caught smuggling cocaine into Thailand through her dreadlocks, returned home to "celebrity status" after having her 30-year prison sentenced reduced.

As television news cameras waited eagerly for her at OR Tambo Airport and the first news reports went viral, South Africans on Twitter were having none of her new-found fame.

Nobanda, from Grahamstown, was arrested at Bangkok International Airport in December 2011 for allegedly attempting to smuggle 1.5kg of cocaine from Brazil to Thailand.

Officials spotted white residue on her hair when she arrived on a Qatar Airways flight. 

She was initially handed a 30-year jail term which was halved but this was reduced further in an amnesty granted to prisoners by Thailand's king.

Television news cameras caught her teary reunion with her family just minutes after touching down at OR Tambo International Airport.

"It hasn't been easy but my people have been behind me so I just want to thank my country for all their love, for all their support and for all their prayers. I'm back home and I'm back stronger," she told reporters. 

But her new found celebrity status did not sit well with the Twitter community.