Every job has its ups and downs – some pay well, but have excruciating hours, others pay badly, but have benefits out of this world. Just ask an SAA flight attendant.
What does your job do for you? That must have been the question a South African Airways crew member must have asked herself before considering using the one benefit not written into her contracts: she and her luggage are unlikely to be searched at international airports.
Elphia Dlamini, 42, was detained after routine checks on crew on the flight, which had landed from Johannesburg, revealed 3kg of cocaine. The find has an estimated street value of about £120 000 (R1.3m).
Dlamini, from Cape Town, was charged with attempting to import a Class A drug and was due to appear in court in Uxbridge, near Heathrow, later on Monday.
She has been been charged with trying to smuggle cocaine into Britain, after being arrested at London's Heathrow Airport, immigration officials said on Monday.
Or so she thought. Sometimes your luck is in and the sniffer dogs are off duty and you get to take a bit of extra luggage with you on your way to London. But guys, it doesn't take a genius to work out that being caught once has put you in the spotlight. Come on. Is this the third or the fourth time? And Heathrow, of all places.
The jury is still out on the flight attendant's' level of job satisfaction after several arrests were made last year at Heathrow when drugs were found in a bag belonging to an SAA crew member. And this is the killer: it's the third time in 18 months. First it was 54kg of drugs (mostly dagga) worth R4,3 million and then 5kg of cocaine worth almost R3,5 million. This is indeed enough to bolster any dwindling pension fund.
And so Dlamini must also have thought when she allegedly concealed the 3kg of cocaine.
Can you see the ad? Join the SAA and aim for a high level of job satisfaction.
But seriously, cocaine is a drug that kills, and could not have been transported for any other reason than filthy lucre. She should be ashamed.
Read more about cocaine here.
Read more about drug mules.
Sources: HealthDay News, Reuters Health, Health24.com
(Susan Erasmus, Health24, updated June 2010)