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Family of South African Ashley Oosthuizen, who is stuck in Thailand due to drug trafficking, remains hopeful

The mother of Ashley Oosthuizen, who faces a life sentence in Thailand for alleged international drug trafficking, says the family has been overwhelmed by the support they have received from the public.

Since the news of Ashley’s imprisonment, her mother, Lynn Blignaut, said messages of support and encouragement continued to pour in.

“Everyone has been amazing with their support and their encouraging messages. I’m amazed at all the positive response, it shows that so many people really care about others,” she said.

Following her entrance exam in 2017, Blignaut’s 22-year-old daughter had moved to Thailand in March 2018 to take a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course so she could teach kindergarten on the island of Koh Samui.

When Oosthuizen became unemployed during the pandemic, Tris Nepps, presumably her boyfriend, who was involved in drug smuggling on the island, had apparently offered her a job at his restaurant. While she was working at the restaurant, she had accepted and signed a package containing the drugs MDMA.

She was then reportedly arrested by Thai police on October 8, 2020. Ashley was given the death penalty, which was later commuted to life.

The mother said it is an extremely difficult time for the family. I really miss her, terribly. It became even more real now because there is so much reporting about her. It still feels sometimes that it’s not my daughter who has to go through this. It’s hard to accept it.

 “But we trust in the Lord, He supports her and also takes care of her. On our side, we do what we can every day,” she said.

Ashley’s father, Andre Oosthuizen, said they remained hopeful

“Last week, when the news came out, my stress level went up. I haven’t spoken to her yet, I’m just waiting. Our lawyer is convinced that there is some hope. We are hopeful that this will be resolved,” he said.

The family representatives said they were doing everything they could to prove Ashley’s innocence. Ashley’s appeal has been filed with the Court of Appeals.

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