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SA woman executed in China

A South African woman has been executed in China for smuggling drugs into that country, eNews reported on Monday.

Janice Bronwyn Linden, 35, was executed by lethal injection.

Linden, 35, from KwaZulu Natal, was caught in the Chinese city of Guangzhou carrying 3kg of crystal methamphetamine in November 2008.

According to reports, Linden would only have been told of her execution this morning as is the practice of the Chinese government.

Two of Linden's sisters were in China and were to be have been allowed an hour with her before she was put to death. Linden did not have children.

On Sunday, the DA called on President Jacob Zuma to make a last-minute attempt to save Linden’s life.

“We call on President Zuma to make a last-ditch attempt to have her sentence commuted. Our government cannot stand idly by while one of our citizens is executed on foreign shores,” said DA MP Stevens Mokgalapa.

He said that although South African authorities had tried to intervene it was “clear that whatever our diplomats have done, it has not been enough to save Ms Linden's life”.

“Our President must do the right thing and speak out before it's too late,” he said.

According to The Mercury newspaper, the International Relations and Cooperation Department said it had appealed to Chinese authorities to have Linden’s sentence commuted to life imprisonment, or the equivalent thereof in Chinese law, when she was sentenced in 2009.

Spokesman Clayson Monyela said the department had provided consular support to the family, the report said.

“We have been very involved in the matter. We have been writing to the Chinese authorities, appealing to them to commute the sentence since we do not subscribe to the death penalty and she is a South African citizen.”

He added that International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane had also appealed to the Chinese delegation attending the UN climate talks in Durban for help regarding Linden’s case, but to no avail, The Mercury reported.

“All the necessary interventions were made by the department and even by the minister. On several occasions the minister engaged with her Chinese counterpart, even on the sidelines of COP17.

“Our diplomatic interventions have been ongoing and we will continue to appeal to the Chinese authorities, even though they have decided to go ahead with it (the execution).” - Sapa, IOL

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