Linden’s sisters: ‘We just wanted to hold her’

The sisters of Janice Bronwyn Linden, the South African woman executed in China for drug smuggling, were only allowed to talk to her through a glass partition during their last prison visit, according to a report on Wednesday.

“All we wanted to do, was to hold her,” Priscilla Mthalane told the Afrikaans-language Beeld newspaper.

“But we had to talk to her through a glass partition and realised we would not be allowed to get any closer to her.”

Mthalane said Linden cried when she saw them.

“She was so excited to see us. We were not allowed to tell her that our mother had died four months ago.

“About 30 policemen watched us and we were not allowed to talk in Zulu, our mother tongue.”

Mthalane said it seemed like Linden had been tied up in some kind of wheelchair.

“Her arms and legs were tied up.”

The visit by Mthalane and Linden’s other sister, Nomalwazi Mhlope, lasted about 45 minutes and took place on the day before her execution.

Linden (35) was only told an hour before her execution on Monday that she would be executed by lethal injection.

“It was all so unnecessary,” said Mthalane.

The department of international relations said her ashes had been given to a South African diplomat and would be handed over to her family.

She was arrested in Guangzhou in November 2008 after she was caught with three kilograms of crystal methamphetamine (tik) in her luggage. She was convicted of drug smuggling in 2009. — Sapa

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