Drug trafficker: Cwele reports back to work

2011-05-10 00:00

CONVICTED drug trafficker Sheryl Cwele reported to her post as director of health and community services at the Hibiscus Coast Municipality yesterday for a meeting at 9 am and left shortly before midday.

Cwele is still employed by the municipality, despite her conviction and 12-year sentence.

Simon Soboyisa, spokesperson for the municipality, said the department will issue a statement regarding its stance on Cwele in due course.

“During the time Cwele was attending the court case she was on leave and she was correct to report for duty yesterday.

“We are all aware that the judgment and sentencing only happened at the end of last week and the municipality could only activate its internal systems to deal with the matter after that.

“The complexity of the matter, given the fact that the crime is a serious one and that she has appealed, warrants an exhaustive approach of dealing with the matter …” Soboyisa added.

Cwele, the wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, was found guilty by the high court in Pietermaritzburg last Thursday of international drug trafficking.

She and her Nigerian co-accused, Frank Nabolisa, were sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment.

Cwele was found to have lured drug mule Tessa Beetge to travel to Brazil where she was arrested with more than 10 kg of cocaine and jailed for eight years.

The Witness has reported that Cwele’s alleged poor work record and unsuitability for her job were previously investigated.

In April 2005 local media reported on a forensic investigation into alleged fraud and corruption in the municipality conducted by the then Traditional and Local Government Affairs Department.

The investigation found that Cwele responded after the post of director of health and community services was advertised with a closing date of November 8, 2002.

However,none of the supporting documents in the application were certified and there was no completed application form in her file.

Cwele has twice had her contract renewed, although she did not meet the department’s competency profiles or the minimum competency levels specified in the Municipal Finance Management Act regulations required for officials at her level of seniority.

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