Cwele appeal judgment reserved

2012-08-16 15:16

Sheryl Cwele will have to wait a little longer to hear the outcome of her appeal against her drug trafficking conviction and sentence.

Cwele, the former wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, and Nigerian national Frank Nabolisa have turned to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein in a bid to overturn their convictions and sentences.

The pair pleaded not guilty in the original case to conspiring to deal in cocaine. They also maintained that they had not procured one woman, Charmaine Moss, to collect drugs in Turkey and another, Tessa Beetge, to smuggle cocaine from South Africa.

But the court found against them.

Cwele’s lawyer, Kemp J Kemp, today argued in court that the State did not prove in its case against Cwele and Nabolisa that there was a common purpose to smuggle cocaine.

Kemp said there was no suggestion in the evidence presented that Cwele knew that the package that was to brought back contained cocaine.

Nabolisa’s lawyer, Koos van Vuuren, said he wants to make “a broad submission” that the State “fell short of proving its case”.

State prosecutor Ian Cooke admitted that if Beetge had not been found in possession of cocaine, the State would have had no grounds for its case.
Cooke asked the court to consider a heavier sentence for Cwele.

Judgment was reserved.

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