Cwele files for bail today

2010-02-02 00:00

BAIL application papers for Sheryl Cwele (50), wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, will be filed today in the high court in Pietermaritzburg.

Cwele’s employers at the Hibiscus Coast Municipality, where she works as director of health and community services, will convene a meeting to discuss the possibility of suspen­ding her until she is cleared of all charges.

The opposition parties in the municipality, the Inkatha Freedom Party and the Democratic Alliance, want Cwele to be sacked.

IFP’s Hibiscus regional chairperson, Sifundo Ngwane, said Cwele must be removed as an employee of the municipality in order for the council to be distanced from her while the law takes its course. Ahead of an executive committee meeting today, Ngwane said a “sober” decision, free of political influence, should be taken to remove Cwele.

Ngwane alleged that Cwele misled the youth within the council’s jurisdiction by preaching to them that they should refrain from drug use, only to face drug charges herself.

DA’s Doug Rawlins said that Cwele should not be allowed to keep her job in the face of the drug charges. Rawlins said his party has discussed the matter and will put a motion that Cwele be removed from the municipality.

Municipal manager Sbu Mkhize said ma­nagement will approach the council to take the decision on the matter involving Cwele today.

Cwele’s lawyer, Mvuseni Ngubane, said they will file bail application papers early today, and the state is expected to file papers opposing bail on Thursday.

The bail hearing will take place on Friday, he said.

Cwele and Frank Nabolis, a Nigerian arres­ted last month, face three charges.

These are dealing or conspiring to deal in drugs, procuring a woman called Charmaine Moss to collect drugs in Turkey, and procuring another woman, Tessa Beetge, to smuggle nine kilograms of cocaine from South America.

Beetge was arrested in Sao Paulo by Brazilian police on June 13, 2008.

She is serving an eight-year jail sentence in Sao Paulo for drug trafficking.

Ngubane said Cwele’s bail hearing did not take place on Friday because of logistical problems.

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