Govt, China in talks over SA woman sentenced to death

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pretoria - South Africa's Ambassador in Beijing, Nondumiso Ntshinga, is leading government's efforts in reducing a death sentence imposed on a South African in China.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation, said the South African woman was sentenced to death for drug smuggling in China in August 2009.

"Following a confirmatory hearing of the Court in Guangzhou on April 8, the Court upheld its earlier decision of imposing the death penalty," the department said in a statement.

The case has been referred to the High Court in Beijing for final decision.

"Nonetheless, the department, on behalf of government, continues to engage with the relevant Chinese authorities regarding a possible commuting of the death sentence," the department said.

Consular assistance is being offered to both the detainee and her family.