Linden’s family waits on China to send ashes

2011-12-17 17:17

The family of Janice Linden (36), who was executed in China on Monday, has still not received her ashes for a proper burial.

They have also had no communication from the South African government yet.

Nomvuyo Mthalane, Linden’s sister, said: “All we know is what we read in the media.

We don’t even know when my sister’s ashes are arriving in South Africa.

But what upsets me is the fact that they would lie about the ambassador to China having been with us when we went to see Nicky.”

International relations spokesperson Clayson Monyela, denied having said the ambassador to China had accompanied Mthalane and Linden’s other sister, Nomalizwi Mhlophe, when they went to see their younger sibling hours before her execution on Monday.

Monyela said Linden’s ashes had been handed over to “our diplomats” in China.

He would not say when Linden’s ashes were to be handed over to the family, saying his office had not been commissioned to reveal this to the media.

Mthalane said the family might have a funeral service once Linden’s ashes had arrived and might also bury her in her mother’s grave.

Linden died not knowing her mother died barely two months ago – a fact her sisters were not allowed to tell her during their visit.

They could only speak in English while being monitored by Chinese officials.

They could also not tell Linden that she was to die in a few hours and could not touch her, kiss her or comfort her during their 45-minute goodbye.

“The first thing she wanted to know was how our mother was? And we had to lie.

“She told us she wouldn’t eat that evening because she was full from seeing us.

She thought it would be the best Christmas but we couldn’t tell her she wouldn’t be alive when we reached home,” added Mthalane.

Linden was arrested at a Chinese airport in 2008 for allegedly trafficking 3kg of drugs, but she maintained her innocence to the end.

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