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Durban - The Department of International Relations and Cooperation is considering appealing the death sentence handed down to a South African drug mule who was arrested in Vietnam. 

On Tuesday, Tyron Lee Coetzee, was handed a death sentence after he was found guilty of trafficking almost 1.5 kilograms of cocaine to Vietnam two years ago.

According to an article in the New York Times, Coetzee had been arrested in June 2016 shortly after he arrived at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport. The drugs were found in his bag. 

At the time, he told police he had been hired by a Nigerian national to transport the drugs and he would be paid upon his arrival in Vietnam. 

According to reports, Coetzee is believed to have travelled from South Africa to Brazil on June 6, 2016 where he was given a black backpack. He then transited in Dubai before arriving in Vietnam on June 9, 2016. 

In a statement to the media, Dirco said Coetzee's family has been informed of the latest developments and is rendering support to them. 

"The department will continue to monitor the case and will take the lead from the concerned citizen with regard to the possibility of appealing the sentence," the statement read. 

According to Dirco, there are currently 800 South Africans doing time in foreign jails.

The Department once again calls on South Africans travelling abroad to familiarise themselves with the legal and cultural practices of the countries they are visiting. South Africans are warned against taking part in any unlawful activities.

Daily News