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10 years later: Vanessa Goosen discusses life after Thai prison release

26 September 2020 8:25 AM
Tags:
Prison
Drug smuggling
thai prison

Vanessa Goosen spent over 16 years in a Thai prison for drug smuggling. She reflects on this time and her 10 years of freedom.

When 21-year-old Vanessa Goosen was asked to take books back to South Africa for her boyfriend from a friend in Thailand, she was unaware her life would change forever. It was 1994, and she had been in Thailand looking for opportunities for her clothing business in Joburg. She agreed to take the books, not knowing that the covers were filled with heroin.

Goosen was arrested, convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to death. On appeal her sentence was commuted to life, to be served in Bangkok’s notorious Lard Yao prison. She was 6 weeks pregnant at the time. After 16 long years in prison, Goosen was released and returned to South Africa.

For the next 10 years, she would rebuild her life bit by bit. She had to get used to South African food, sleeping in a bed, engaging with technology and reconnecting with her family, who were strangers to her when she returned.

Goosen reflects on her time in and out of prison with Sara-Jayne King. <b><i>Listen to the full audio below: </i></b>


26 September 2020 8:25 AM
Tags:
Prison
Drug smuggling
thai prison

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