Tyron Coetzee remains on Death Row in Vietnam, pending an appeal, after having been convicted of drug trafficking.

Durban - The family of Durban-born Vietnam death row prisoner Tyron Coetzee continue to wait for news of his appeal and whether they can visit him. He was sentenced to death in the country for drug smuggling. 

His older brother, Elton Coetzee, said from Johannesburg on Thursday that word had reached them that Tyron, who was caught with drugs in 2016, had notified authorities of his intention to lodge an appeal. 

“There is no appeal yet, but an appeal is in process,” Elton said.

Tyron was sentenced to death in August. He was given 15 days to appeal, which have since lapsed.

According to Elton, all that remained clear was that the whole ordeal had become a waiting game.

He has even been made to wait up to 12 weeks by the South African authorities for an unabridged birth certificate to prove that he is Tyron’s brother, pending his application to fly to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) to visit his brother in prison.  

Tyron’s family is pegging its hope on the Vietnam authorities understanding that he was coerced into carrying drugs and that his case should be seen as one of human trafficking.

The Independent on Saturday