Beetge: Mom writes to president

2012-10-13 00:00

MARIE Swanepoel’s e-mail to Brazil’s president this week, asking for a presidential pardon for her daughter, jailed drug mule Tessa Beetge, bounced back.

So, she went back to familiar ground to send the letter to President Dilma Rousseff the old fashioned way and one she is familiar with having spent years working for the Post Office.

“At the moment it’s probably waiting in Port Shepstone,” she said yesterday.

“Whether it’ll have gone on by truck from Durban I don’t know. I don’t know if the trucks have stopped running [because of the truckers’ strike].”

In the registered letter is mention that correspondence from Brazilian authorities, via the South African government, implied that if the “big fish” in the drug trafficking in which she was caught up in were jailed, there could be hope for Beetge’s punishment being softened.

This month Sheryl Cwele, the former director of health for the Hibiscus Coast Municipality and ex-wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, started a 20-year sentence.

She, along with Nigerian Frank Nabolisa who was already in custody, were convicted of procuring Beetge to smuggle cocaine.

Beetge has been serving a sentence of nearly eight years in a Sao Paulo prison since she was caught and sentenced in 2008.

Swanepoel said she had e-mailed the contents of the letter to President Rousseff to her daughter’s prison minders in the hope that they might also pass it through the channels to the Presidency.

“An election was taking place when I went over to Brazil to visit Tessie,” said Swanepoel.

“She [Rousseff] was made president some time after I left.”

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