Gvt confirms: SA man sentenced to death in Malaysia for drug trafficking

JANUARY 23, 2015

A South African national has been sentenced to death in Malaysia for drug-related offences, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) confirmed on Friday. Deon Cornelius, a former security guard, was arrested in October 2013 after being found with 1,949g of methamphetamine at the Penang international airport.

According to Dirco spokesperson Clayson Monyela, when a person is sentenced to death by the High Court in Malaysia, the case is automatically referred to the Court of Appeal. 

“At the Court of Appeal, the case will be further considered to establish whether the High Court was correct in its verdict and the person would again appear before the judges with his/her legal representative.”

This process usually takes between six and 12 months before the Appeal Court reaches a decision.

Monyela said while this appeal process is before the Court, the South African government cannot intervene in the matter.

He said the South African High Commission in Kuala Lumpur will closely monitor the events over the next few months.

“It is only if the Appeal Court upholds the death sentence that the South African government will approach the Malaysian government with a request for clemency.”

In the meantime, the South African High Commission in Kuala Lumpur is giving consular support to Cornelius and his family has been informed of developments. - SAnews.gov.za