On 9 April 2010, Janice Bronwyn Linden, 35 from Wentworth in Durban was sentenced to death by a high court in Guangdong Province, China for smuggling drugs. According to reports, on 30 November 2008 Linden arrived at the Baiyun International Airport, in Guangzhou without declaring any goods. After a normal search procedure, customs officers found 3kg of methamphetamine hydrochloride in her trunk.
Linden was not the first person to be sentenced to death in China. Seven other South Africans have received the death sentences. Their sentences were suspended for two years on condition that they do not become involved in crime during that time behind bars. South Africa has close to 700 citizens in foreign prisons for drug related crimes. In the early hours of 12 December 2011, Linden was executed by lethal injection.
In response, The South African International Relations Cooperations Department stated: “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.”
• Death Penalty News, (2010), ‘China sentenced South African woman to death, 9 April, [online], Available at www.deathpenaltynews.blogspot.com [Accessed:8 April 2014]
• Govender P. (2011) ‘SA has 660 held abroad for drugs’,from Times Live, 18 December, [online], Available at www.timeslive.co.za [Accessed: 8 April 2014]