RIYADH, 10 March 2008 — A South African nurse who has been missing since November has been found imprisoned in a Saudi jail and is expected to return to her country within the next few days.

Dannelene Noach disappeared after allegedly discovering corruption at the hospital where she worked. “The South African Embassy has managed to trace the nurse, and the mission is rendering all consular support to her,” said South African Ambassador John Davies.

“Dannelene will be repatriated to South Africa in a few days from now… I can only tell you this much at the moment… The mission is working with the Saudi authorities and her employer to facilitate Dannelene’s return as soon as possible,” he added.

According to the South African press, Noach was in good health and spirits, and that her family still knew nothing about the circumstances surrounding her arrest.

“Dannelene doesn’t feel comfortable in talking over the phone,” the report said quoting the nurse’s daughter Lee-Ann Noach-Pienaar.

The nurse, a clinical coordinator at a Riyadh hospital for the past seven years, was apparently being held on bribery charges. Noach was asked in May last year to conduct an audit of her department and had discovered financial discrepancies. As soon as she submitted her report, she was sacked.

In November last year, Noach filed a complaint in the labor court against the hospital for sacking her.

The case was transferred from the labor court to the high court as a civil case against the employer. The judge ruled that Noach should receive compensation and when she appeared in court again on Nov. 20, the judge was on an emergency leave and the case was postponed to Nov. 27. It was then that the nurse went missing.

Noach has spent three months in prison and contacted her family only in January since her disappearance.

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