SA woman's execution - Zuma must help
Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma should make a last-minute attempt to save the life of a South African woman condemned to death in China for drug smuggling, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Sunday.
Janice Bronwyn Linden, 35, from KwaZulu-Natal is due to be executed on Monday by the Chinese government after she was caught carrying three kilograms of crystal methamphetamine at an airport in that country in November 2008.
She will be executed by lethal injection.
"We call on President Zuma to make a last-ditch attempt to have her sentence commuted. Our government cannot stand idly by while one of our citizens is executed on foreign shores," said DA MP Stevens Mokgalapa.
He said that although South African authorities had tried to intervene it was "clear that whatever our diplomats have done, it has not been enough to save Ms Linden's life".
"Our President must do the right thing and speak out before it's too late," he said.
Linden, who has exhausted all possible appeal processes, is not aware of her impending execution, as is the practice of the Chinese government.
The condemned are only told on the morning of the execution.
"Drug mules should be punished for what they do. But this is clearly a case of a punishment not fitting the crime," said Mokgalapa.
Mokgalapa said he would submit parliamentary questions to find out what steps the department of international relations and co-operation had taken to have her sentence commuted.
Two of Linden's sisters are in China and will be allowed an hour with her before she is put to death.