Pubdate: Tue, 13 Dec 2011
Source: Daily News, The (South Africa)
Copyright: 2011 The Daily News.
Author: Mpume Madlala


'You must come and see me soon." These were the tearful words of 
Janice Linden to her two sisters, Nomalizwi Mhlophe and Priscilla 
Mthalane, during a 45-minute visit at Guandong prison in China, the 
day before she was executed by lethal injection. 

She was not aware that she was going to die and one of the conditions 
of the visit was that her sisters from Durban were not allowed to tell her. 

Linden, 36 was arrested three years ago at the Baiyun International 
Airport, in China after 3kg of tik (methamphetamine) was found in her luggage. 

She only found out on Monday that a court appeal against her execution 
had failed. Linden was then executed. 

Speaking to the Daily News on Monday night, Mthalane said they were 
still in shock about everything that they had experienced in China. 
When Linden was brought to them, she was chained to what looked like a 
wheelchair and her hands and feet tied. 

"We were separated by glass and had between 10 and 15 Chinese 
policemen watching us and listening to our every word. 

"They said we must only speak English and that we could not tell her 
that our uncle and mother had passed away in September or that she too 
was going to be killed," she said, still sounding distraught. 


Mthalane said Linden, whom they had not seen since 2008, had cried 
like a child with joy to see them and when she asked how their mother 
was, they had to lie and say she was fine. 

She said it was the hardest thing for them not to be able to tell her 
that they were seeing each other for the last time or even hug her. 

"We asked to sprinkle holy water on her as we are Roman Catholics, but 
they refused. We asked to take a picture with her and they still 
refused even though they knew it was the last time we would see her. 

"Our mother wanted to see her before she died and now she has also 
died not knowing that mom has died. She still thought we would see 
each other again. It is such a tragedy for us," she said. 

Mthalane said they had so many questions that had been unanswered such 
as the freedom Chinese people had in SA, saying in China black South 
Africans were ill-treated. 

"At customs they let everyone pass except me and my sister and threw 
our clothes on the floor, including our underwear, and then made us 
pick it up. 

"It was humiliating, to say the least. I am sure that if my sister was 
not black-skinned she would still be alive. 

"We are hurt and just want answers why she was killed," she said. 

Linden's nephew, Ntando Mthalane, said they were very disappointed 
with the South African government as they felt they could have done 
more to spare his aunt's life. 

He said he felt that his aunt was killed because of her skin colour as 
they had seen on TV that there was another man in China who was caught 
with 7kg of cocaine, but he got a life sentence. 

"We would have accepted a life sentence, but death for just 3kg is 
hard to accept, more because in this country there are a lot of drug 
dealers. We live with them, but they are still alive," he said. 

For the family right now, according to Ntando, it felt like democracy 
was not meant for the everyday man. 

"My opinion of the (South African) government is that they could have 
done more, but they didn't. 

"But I am sure that if it was voting time they would have done more 
and she would still be alive. If we trade with China, I am sure that 
they could have done something, but they let her die," he said. 

Ntando said he would miss his aunt for the many wonderful qualities, 
but more for her love of people. "She was a people's person and she 
will be missed," he said. 

Linden's brother, Ramon Hunter, said her death was a huge loss to the 
family as they were all very close. "South Africa is becoming another 
colony of China, starting with the Dalai Lama and now this. It looks 
like as a country we are being told what to do by the Chinese and it 
is not right," he said. 

Hunter said Linden was a friend and mother figure. "She used to help 
people and she loved people. The Chinese gave her no choice. They did 
not even tell her they were going to kill her until that day and it 
really hurts," he said. 

Neighbours yesterday took turns visiting the family home to express 
their condolences to the family that was evidently still in shock 
after learning from the television news that Linden was really gone. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.