Sheryl Cwele guilty of drug trafficking
Pietermaritzburg - Sheryl Cwele, wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, has been found guilty of drug trafficking by the KwaZulu-Natal High Court.
Judge Piet Koen began delivering the judgment in the High Court in Pietermaritzburg at 11:00 on Thursday.
Earlier in the day he ruled against the State’s bid to have the case re-opened to allow them to have more witnesses take the stand.
Cwele and her co-accused Frank Nabolisa were charged with dealing or conspiring to deal in drugs, procuring Charmaine Moss to collect drugs in Turkey, and procuring Tessa Beetge to smuggle cocaine from South America.
Beetge was arrested when 10kg of cocaine was found in her luggage in Brazil in 2008. She is serving a jail sentence in Sao Paolo. Moss turned State witness.
Cwele says she had spent a fortune on legal fees. Her employer, the Hibiscus Coast Municipality, was also not paying her for taking leave to attend court proceedings.
"That means that each time I attend the court proceedings I have to pay for my legal team and lose income. I have lost a fortune as a result of my attendance," she says, submitting that re-opening the case would make the situation worse.
She describes the case as a high-profile matter which had attracted much media attention, and had found some of the reports hurtful to her and her family.