NPA concerned about Special Assignment broadcast

2010-11-02 10:57

Current affairs show Special Assignment was set to broadcast an interview with convicted drug mule Tessa Beetge, who was allegedly recruited by state security minister Siyabonga Cwele’s wife, but the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) warned that the matter was sub judice.

“Obviously we have reservations about the planned broadcast, as its contents may have a bearing on the case that is sub judice,” NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said today.

SAfm’s AMLive radio anchor, Caesar Molebatsi, announced that Special Assignment would broadcast the interview with Beetge from a Brazilian prison at 8.31pm today.

Beetge was arrested after 10kg of cocaine was found in her luggage in Brazil in 2008.

The state alleges that Sheryl Cwele, the wife of the state security minister, and Nigerian national Frank Nabolisa allegedly conspired to recruit Beetge and Charmaine Moss as drug mules.

Moss recently told the Pietermaritzburg High Court that she turned down the alleged offer when she suspected something was amiss.

Cwele was granted R100 000 bail on February 5.

Nabolisa was denied bail because the court considered him a flight risk.

According to AMLive, the interview was conducted inside the prison with permission from the prison authorities.

In the interview, Beetge explains how she ended up in Brazil and how she feels about her incarceration.

Both Nabolisa and Cwele have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Cwele’s advocate, Muvuseni Ngubane, told the court his client didn’t know why Beetge ended up in Peru and Brazil.

But e-mails and cellphone text messages presented in court showed Cwele allegedly arranged flight tickets for Beetge from Lima, Peru, to São Paulo in Brazil.

According to the defence, Cwele had arranged for Beetge to work for Nabolisa’s company, as he needed white people to market his company to other whites.

The trial has been adjourned to December 13 to give Judge Piet Koene time to formulate his ruling on the admissibility of intercepted phone calls between Cwele, Nabolisa and Beetge.

Lawyers representing Cwele and Nabolisa objected to the use of the transcripts of intercepted calls.

The state was in the process of getting Beetge to testify via video link.

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