Reports have exposed that SA’s ambassador to Singapore, Hazel Francis Ngubeni is a convicted drug dealer.
Hazel Francis Ngubeni spent two years in a US prison from 1999 to 2001 after she was caught smuggling a bag of cocaine.
Then, she was working as a cabin attendant for South African Airways (SAA).
Reporting this, Sunday Times related that SAA dismissed Ms. Ngubeni who was then, known as Francis MacDonald after her arrest in New York.
SAA spokesman, Tlali Tlali was quoted to have said: “She was arrested, convicted and sent to jail, which made her unable to render any service to her employer.”
Ngubeni herself reportedly confirmed her conviction claiming she was wrongfully jailed after a strange bag was uncovered in her luggage.
Meanwhile, that wasn’t the only time she’s been linked to drug smuggling. Sometimes in September 1995, she was arrested at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
She was charged for smuggling 9kg of heroin into South Africa from Thailand. However, she was acquitted in 1997 when a key witness refused to testify against her.
BuzzSouthAfrica gathered that Ngubeni initially refused to comment on the OR Tambo case. She later confirmed that she was arrested claiming she was implicated because she asked a colleague to carry her bags.
“Unbeknown to me he was given another bag by someone I knew,” Ngubeni remarked.
Speaking for the South African Department of International Relations, Nelson Kgwete promised that the department would conduct extensive investigation into the matter.
“…(We) will work with all relevant state agencies to establish facts. The security vetting process for all our diplomats is a process that the relevant agencies are constantly reviewing with the intention of improving to avoid gaps and discrepancies,” stated Kgwete.
Records from the department divulged that Ngubeni was appointed to her position by a senior political leadership. Also, she denied having any criminal record when she was being vetted by the State Security Agency for the diplomatic post.