South Africa – Police Sergeant Busisiwe Zungu, who was cleared of drug trafficking charges in Hong Kong, arrived home on Friday night.
Zungu disembarked from an Emirates flight shortly after 5pm but only came through arrivals after 8pm. Dressed in jeans, a T-shirt and denim jacket Zungu appeared to be in high spirits and was in a hurry to get out of the airport.
Zungu, 36, a member of the SAPS stationed at Durban harbour, was arrested in January at the border of Hong Kong and China. She was travelling with four other people in a taxi when 500mg of drugs was found in a suitcase. Zungu was acquitted this week after DNA testing revealed that the drugs found in the luggage did not belong to her.
Speaking briefly to the Sunday Tribune, Zungu said negative media reports had tarnished her image.
She said comments about her “driving a luxurious car” had been made by people who were jealous of her success.
Zungu is also a businesswoman with interests in designer clothing and accessories.
“Look, I am not allowed to talk to media. But those remarks are malicious and their intention is to destroy my integrity. I have a job and I can afford this lifestyle through my business. Do they think that because I am a woman I do not deserve to progress? I also have a man who looks after me and he is here to fetch me,” she said.
Zungu admitted that she had not contacted her family or logged on to Facebook, but she was grateful for messages of support from her family and friends.
Now that Zungu is back in South Africa it remains to be seen whether she will get her job back. She was served with a notice of suspension earlier this month. Her arrest also prompted KZN police commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni to issue a directive asking all members of the police force to notify their managers when travelling abroad.
SAPS spokesman major Thulani Zwane confirmed Zungu had been suspended.
“We will wait for her response as to why she thinks she should not be suspended. In the meantime an internal disciplinary investigation will be held into her conduct, which includes leaving the country without notifying her commanders,” said Zwane.
Zungu’s sister, Phumi, said on Saturday that she had not made contact with her since her release. The family heard about her “golden pass” from Father John Wotherspoon of the Catholic church in Hong Kong.
Phumi said Zungu’s phone was on voicemail all the time.
“We have not seen her since she arrived. We have only heard about her arrival from her Facebook friends who keep posting on her page.
“I know Busi has her reasons. She did explain to me that she does not want to speak to the media. We as a family are respecting that decision. I do not know what is going through her mind but I know she is media shy and we should respect that.”
Phumi said she was excited that her sister was back in the country.
“My friends think my sister is an icon and I should be proud of her because not many people are lucky enough to be released when detained in a foreign prison facing similar charges to hers. But we always knew our Busi would come back because she was innocent,” Phumi said.