Drug-mule’s mom dies

2013-10-13 12:54

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Durban - Marie Swanepoel, who played a key role in the conviction of drug trafficker Sheryl Cwele, the then wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, has died at the age of 61.

The Sunday Times reported that Swanepoel, the mother of convicted drug-mule Tessa Beetge, fell ill on 3 October with a perforated stomach and was taken to Queenstown Hospital. She was put on life support but went into organ failure. She was transferred to Frere Hospital in East London but died on Thursday night.

Swanepoel’s sister Margie Olsen, said the family was devastated by her death. She said her sister had been a very strong and courageous woman who had not been afraid to take down a minister’s wife.

Beetge was arrested at Sao Paulo International Airport in 2008 after being caught carrying nearly 10kg of cocaine. At the time, Swanepoel approached the Sunday Times with damning evidence including cellphone messages and emails between her daughter and Cwele, who set Beetge up for the drug mission. Cwele and her co-accused, Frank Nabolisa, were convicted and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment in May 2011.

The war is far from over

In 2012 Nabolisa and Cwele appealed their 12 year sentence, but the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) was not amused, instead increasing the sentences for both by eight years to 20 years.

At the time Swanepoel said: “I e-mailed foreign affairs four years ago and they replied that if Sheryl or Frank were found guilty, they [the Brazilians] would reduce Tessie’s sentence. It has happened so I’m going to converse with them on the matter.”

For Swanepoel, the battle was won but the war was far from over and at the time she said she won’t rest until her daughter is back in South Africa.

She said she would continue her struggle to have her sentence reduced.

Department of international relations and co-operation spokesperson Clayson Monyela said that contrary to the Swanepoels’ perceptions, the department could never become involved in legal matters relating to a conviction and sentence in a foreign country.

Swanepoel said she had also e-mailed the president of Brazil, asking for a reduced sentence, and had received a reply acknowledging receipt of her correspondence.
Read more on:    siyabonga cwele  |  port elizabeth

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
11 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.