Media Statement

28 August 2018

Minister Sisulu concerned about SA nationals in foreign jails

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu, has expressed concern about the high number of South Africans detained abroad on a variety of charges, predominantly drug-related, following the death sentence handed down to a South African citizen in Vietnam.

The male South African, whose details are known to DIRCO, was earlier today, 28 August 2018, sentenced to death in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The man was arrested and charged with drug smuggling in 2016. An official from the South African mission in Vietnam was in court when the sentence was handed down.

The family of the man has been informed of the latest developments, and the Department is rendering consular support to the them. 

The Department will continue to monitor the case and will take the lead from the concerned citizen with regard to the possibility of appealing the sentence.

There are currently 800 South Africans doing time in foreign jails.

The Department once again calls on South Africans travelling abroad to familiarize themselves with the legal and cultural practices of the countries they are visiting. South Africans are warned against taking part in any unlawful activities.

Enquiries: Mr Ndivhuwo Mabaya, 083 645 7838 or


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