The South African woman convicted of smuggling drugs into China was executed there on Monday morning, despite appeals from Pretoria for her death sentence to be commuted.
According to e.News, Janice Bronwyn Linden’s execution was carried out early on Monday morning.
Linden was arrested in November 2008 after being found to be in possession of 3kg of methamphetamines on her arrival at the airport in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.
In July 2009 the 37-year-old woman from KwaZulu-Natal was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to death. Linden appealed in vain to the both the Guangdong High Court and to the Supreme Court in Beijing.
She had not been aware of her impending execution, as the Chinese government informs the condemned only on the morning the death sentence is carried out.
Two of Linden’s sisters are in China and were allowed an hour with her before she was put to death, an e.News reporter said.
On Monday morning, the Times newspaper reported that the government had been in constant contact with the Chinese authorities about Linden’s sentence, appealing for her execution to be halted.
“The department has been and continues to render consular assistance and support to the family,” Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, told the newspaper on Sunday.
Justice ministry spokesperson Tlali Tlali told Beeld newspaper that the department had made several pleas to the Chinese government to spare her life.
At the weekend, the Democratic Alliance had called on President Jacob Zuma to step in to save Linden’s life.
“Drug mules should be punished for what they do. But this is clearly a case of a punishment not fitting the crime,” said DA parliamentarian Stevens Mokgalapa. — Additional reporting by Sapa