Drug mule mom reaches out

2011-12-13 10:25
 Durban - KwaZulu-Natal South Coast mother Marie Swanepoel knows what it feels like to have a drug mule daughter in a foreign jail, but unlike the Linden family of Durban, she doesn’t have to deal with the pain of having a loved one executed.

Janice Linden, 38, was executed on Monday by Chinese authorities.

Swanepoel’s daughter, Tessa Beetge, 34, has four more years of her sentence to serve in a Sao Paulo jail.

It will be three-and-a-half years today that Beetge was sentenced for drug trafficking in Brazil and on Friday Swanepoel will be able to make her twice yearly, 15-minute call to her daughter.

No such luck for the Linden family, whose last contact with Janice was on Sunday, only hours before her execution. They exchanged a few letters.

Chinese officials have handed over Janice’s ashes to a South African diplomat who will ensure that her family receives them.

Cruel and unjust

Offering the Linden family her condolences, Swanepoel said: “When I heard on the news what they had done to her I was very shocked and very sad. It was just cruel and unjust.

“My sympathies go out to her family and friends. I don’t even know if she has children, what she has and doesn’t have. I just feel so sorry for all of them. May God give them everything they need to get through this.”

Swanepoel said she thanked God that Tessa is safe and hadn’t been tried in China.

“If the same thing were to happen to her I would have gone out of my mind; it would have just been the end of a lot of things.”

Swanepoel appealed to youngsters not to get involved in drug trafficking.

“I know it’s about making money, but you are only getting yourselves into trouble and making the drug dealers rich. It’s not worth it. The heartache you put your parents through is not worth it,” she said.

Did not know her fate

e-News Beijing correspondent John Bailey told The Witness that two of Linden’s older sisters arrived in China on Friday and visited her on Sunday.

They were allowed to spend less than an hour with her, surrounded by Chinese officials. They opted not to tell her she would die by lethal injection the next day.

“The two sisters were very mature in handling the situation. They said they could not tell her about the execution as that would have burdened her.

They had no physical contact as they were separated by a glass partition. They were only allowed to communicate in English, not in isiZulu or any other language.”

Bailey said Linden only became aware that she would die an hour or so before the lethal injection was administered.

She was called to appear before three judges in Guangzhou at about 03:00 SA time and was informed that she would be put to death. She died at about 04:30.

Did she commit the crime?

“The officials would not say much except that in China everyone is treated the same under the laws of the land, whether you are foreign or local,” he said.

Linden’s mother, Virginia, reportedly died two months ago. Her father, Wellington, is too heartbroken to speak.

eTV quoted Linden’s stepsister, Elaine Biyela, as saying: “She has gone to a better place.”

A family friend, Wentworth councillor Aubrey Snyman, told The Witness he believes the matter was not dealt with fairly.

He is concerned that Linden maintained her innocence until the end, although the Chinese court had given her a two-year reprieve in which to admit guilt and receive a jail term instead.

“Why would she plead not guilty knowing that it would cost her life? She could have pleaded guilty to avoid death so now the question is, did she commit the crime?

Linden’s brother, Ramon, told The Witness an official statement will be released once the family was able to meet.
Read more on:    janice linden  |  tessa beetge  |  brazil  |  china  |  sa  |  narcotics
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
159 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.