Cwele not yet behind bars

By Drum Digital
02 October 2012

Convicted drug dealer Sheryl Cwele has not yet reported to a correctional services facility after her appeal against her drug dealing conviction failed, the department said on Tuesday morning.

Correctional Services spokesman Nokuthula Zikhali said the department was still awaiting her arrival following her failed bid to overturn her conviction.

The former wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, Sheryl and her co-accused Frank Nabolisa were dealt a tough hand by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on Monday when their appeals were dismissed and their convictions were increased from 12 years to 20 years.

Court president Lex Mpati said the sentence imposed by the trial court was disturbingly inappropriate.

Cwele, 50, was only appealing her conviction, while Nabolisa appealed both his conviction and sentence.

She was given three days after receipt of the judgment to hand herself over to authorities.

It was still unclear whether her attorneys had received the court's documentation by Tuesday morning.

The National Prosecuting Authority said the two could still launch an appeal with the Constitutional Court.

"[They] have 21 days to hand an application in at the Concourt," said NPA spokeswoman Natasha Ramkisoon.

"But there was no indication of any constitutional grounds mentioned of this at the case," she added.

The pair were found guilty of drug dealing by the Pietermaritzburg High Court in May 2011.

Both pleaded not guilty to conspiring to deal in drugs, to procuring a woman, Charmaine Moss, to collect drugs in Turkey, and to procuring another woman, Tessa Beetge, to smuggle cocaine from South America.

Nabolisa had been in custody until now, while Cwele was out on R100,000 bail.

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