Cwele co-accused claims rights' abuse

2013-03-07 12:03
Frank Nabolisa (File, Sapa)

Frank Nabolisa (File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - A convicted drug dealer will argue on Thursday that the infringement of his right to a fair trial led to an eight-year increase in his 12-year prison sentence.

Frank Nabolisa is applying for leave to appeal the ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

He is expected to argue that the SCA disregarded provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act in reaching its decision, and caused a miscarriage of justice by increasing the sentence.

In his heads of argument, Nabolisa submitted that the State should have sought leave to appeal the sentence imposed on him by the KwaZulu-Natal High Court after he was found guilty, in May 2011, of drug dealing.

His counsel would argue that, without leave to appeal, no request to increase the sentence could have been entertained by the SCA.

The State submitted that it twice gave notice of its intention to seek an increase of the sentence on appeal, and that there was no peremptory form the notice should take.

It contended that the requirement of notice was a matter of substance, not form.

Nabolisa and his co-accused Sheryl Cwele - the former wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele - were found guilty under the Drug and Drug Trafficking Act and were each sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment.

Nabolisa appealed against his conviction and sentence to the SCA.

The State did not cross-appeal, but in its heads of argument, asked for an increase in the sentence to 15 years' imprisonment.

The State subsequently argued that the term be increases to 20 years, on the strength of recent case law.

- SAPA

Read more on:    sheryl cwele  |  frank nabolisa  |  pietermaritzburg  |  narcotics
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