Sheryl Cwele told to report to prison

2012-10-03 13:01
Sheryl Cwele. Picture: Beeld

Sheryl Cwele. Picture: Beeld

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Durban - Convicted drug dealer Sheryl Cwele has been told she must hand herself in at the Westville Prison, a National Prosecuting Authority official said on Wednesday.

NPA KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson said Cwele's lawyer was handed a letter on Tuesday, saying she had to check in before 13:00 on Thursday.

Regional correctional services spokesperson Nokuthula Zikhali said there had been no sign of Cwele on Wednesday morning.

Appeals dismissed

The former wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, Sheryl Cwele and co-accused Frank Nabolisa failed to have their convictions overturned on Monday.

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) dismissed their appeals, and increased their sentences from 12 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.

The pair were found guilty of drug dealing by the KwaZulu-Natal 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.

Mother fighting for reduced sentence

Meanwhile, The Witness reported that Beetge's mother, Marie Swanepoel, is going all out to get her daughter home before the end of her eight-year sentence, believing that their failure before the SCA could provide ammunition for her request for Beetge’s incarceration time to be reduced.

“There have been arrangements for police reports to be e-mailed through to the prison services in Brazil on Monday.”

On being told that Cwele had to report to serve her sentence on Thursday, Swanepoel commented, “Oh, super!”

She said that on Monday she had called an officer at her daughter’s prison and asked her to inform Beetge about the outcome of the SCA case.

“She promised to tell her after work. It would have been at about 21:00 our time.”

Swanepoel visited her daughter in Brazil after her arrest in Sao Paulo in 2008 and wishes she could go again, but hasn’t got the money.

She added that she had enjoyed much goodwill from people in the South Coast community since news of the SCA ruling broke. “Margate is ecstatic. Port Shepstone too. So am I and so are my grandchildren [Beetge’s daughters].”

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

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