Woman who helped convict Sheryl Cwele dies

2013-10-12 08:52

The mother of convicted drug mule Tessa Beetge has died in an East London hospital after a short illness.

Marie Swanepoel helped gather evidence that led to the conviction and sentencing of Sheryl Cwele, the ex-wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, the SABC reported yesterday.

In her testimony Swanepoel proved, through a series of e-mails and SMSs, that Cwele had sent Beetge to South America to courier 10kg of cocaine for Cwele and her co-accused Frank Nabolisa.

Cwele and Nabolisa pleaded not guilty to conspiring to deal in drugs, to procuring a woman, Charmaine Moss, to collect drugs in Turkey, and to procuring Beetge to smuggle cocaine from South America.

They were found guilty of drug dealing by the Pietermaritzburg High Court in May 2011. Both were sentenced to 12 years in jail each.

The Supreme Court of Appeal later increased their sentences to 20 years.

Nabolisa then approached the Constitutional Court, which ruled the State was required to officially appeal the sentences before they could be increased in the appeal court. Nabolisa’s original sentence of 12 years was reinstated.

In July, Cwele launched a similar Constitutional Court appeal. The Bench of 11 judges ruled her sentence be reduced in light of its findings in Nabolisa’s case.

Beetge is currently serving an eight-year jail sentence in Sao Paolo, Brazil. She was arrested in that country in 2008.

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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

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


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.


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.