Beetge: parents to push for leniency

2011-05-06 00:00

TESSA Beetge’s parents, Marie and Gert “Swanie” Swanepoel, were relieved to hear yesterday’s guilty verdict.

A happy Marie Swanepoel said she will try to phone her daughter, who is in prison in Brazil, today to tell her the news.

The couple told The Witness they are normally allowed only two telephone calls per year to Beetge in prison.

“Usually we call her at Christmas and on her birthday.”

Swanepoel said that even if she cannot speak to Beetge personally, she ought to be able to get a message to her today via the authorities in Brazil.

”We plan to make use of this judgment to make representations to try and get leniency and possibly a reduction in sentence for Tessa,” she said.

The couple said they were advised that if there was a conviction in South Africa it will be taken into account when they make representations.

Beetge has already served three years of her eight-year jail term. She has already been granted a reduction of one year and so faces another four years in custody.

Gert Swanepoel said the Brazilian jails are “full of girls like Tessa” who had been lured into acting as drug mules for international smugglers.

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