Judge: Cwele clearly guilty

2011-05-05 16:40

Pietermaritzburg - Sheryl Cwele, the wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, was found guilty of drug trafficking by the KwaZulu-Natal High Court on Thursday.

Judge Piet Koen said it was clear that Cwele and her co-accused Nigerian Frank Nabolisa had worked together to recruit two women to work as agents to transport drugs.

The two had pleaded not guilty to 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 cocaine from South America.

Beetge, of the KwaZulu-Natal south coast, was arrested when 10kg of cocaine was found in her luggage in Brazil in 2008, and is serving a jail sentence in Sao Paolo.

R25 000 payment promised

Moss, who was told to go overseas and pick up a parcel with unspecified contents, turned down the offer when she suspected something was amiss. She turned State's witness.

Cwele promised them a salary of R25 000 for two weeks’ work.

Cwele’s defence contended that the women were recruited because Nabolisa needed white people to work for his company in Johannesburg.

However, Koen ruled that there was no way Cwele did not know the kind of work the two women would do as she was deeply involved in the travel arrangements.

He also questioned how the women could earn R25 000 each when they had no qualifications for the jobs they were promised.

Koen questioned why Cwele had requested their passports if she did not know they were going overseas.


There was also a talk of visas during arrangements for the trip, Koen said.

"Why would she be so concerned with travel arrangements if she was not involved?" he asked.

Koen earlier turned down the State's application to reopen its case so it could call new witnesses to the stand.

Koen said no satisfactory reasons had been given as to why these witnesses were not called during the trial.

The court used mainly cellphone SMSes and e-mails between Beetge and Cwele to reach its conclusion.

Bundles of intercepted calls were not used as the State failed to convince the court how they were intercepted. They were also riddled with typing errors.

The case was postponed until Friday for sentencing.

  • goyougoodthing - 2011-05-05 16:44

    Excellent so far for the law, now in a reasonable society, the Minister himself would resign in shame.

      RobinHood - 2011-05-05 16:56

      Come on the honorable minister did not have the slightest idea of the goings-on. Why should he resign? This incident shows that the family is capable to serve in the highest positions in the country

      Warren - 2011-05-05 16:59

      He cannot resign before he has built his wife a 5 star room in some prison... with a backdoor!!!

      jweer42 - 2011-05-05 19:36

      Nope, not a backdoor ... a gloryhole!!! :D

      Shivermetimb - 2011-05-05 20:27

      Minister, yes. Honourable? Hell no!

      Sizwe - 2011-05-05 23:33

      She is estranged from the Minister, this was stated last year already! Why should he be punished for her actions, his failure to institute divorce cannot condone his sacking over things that never involved him. In fact credit should be given considering his portfolio, he had all the resources to quash the trial were he not estranged from her or unprincipled, for once I will condone the actions of a government minister...

      goyougoodthing - 2011-05-06 12:08

      He should be punished Sizwe because, in a civilised country, your choices reflect your character, and marrying a drug dealer shows a very real lack of sound choice making. If she is dealing drugs, no doubt she is doing other things too, and drugs, are our children's poison.

  • Noneedtoknow - 2011-05-05 16:44


  • maseratifitt - 2011-05-05 16:46

    Sounds right.

  • - 2011-05-05 16:48

    Looks like Justice will prevail!!!

      Reality - 2011-05-05 16:52

      Any bets that they will appeal the verdict as well as the sentence?

      Mundu - 2011-05-05 17:43

      This will drag on for years....appeal after appeal. I doubt she will spend a day in jail.

      Thandi - 2011-05-05 18:16

      @ Mundu. You are probably right. Just like Shabir Sheik and Selebi, the ANCorruption will make sure she doesn't see the inside of a jail.

  • LuLuBug - 2011-05-05 16:53

    Oh yay, yay, yay!

  • willieman - 2011-05-05 16:54

    Busted like Osama

  • george - 2011-05-05 16:54

    the minister has been separated from her wife for four years now. they dont even stay together. if she was still involved with him the case would long have been ditched.

      gizzy - 2011-05-05 17:01

      Oh really? Strange, Beetge was arrested in imprisoned 4 years ago! Did he seperate from her when he knew she was going to be arrested? Or did he rat on her and order her arrest when they split up? Either way the minister is no innocent.

      RobinHood - 2011-05-05 17:06

      so the minnister is a lesbian?

      Rijger - 2011-05-05 17:17

      NoRobin, his wfe or ex wife is, she was married to a d@@s

  • schmerz - 2011-05-05 16:56

    wonder what would have happened if the judge supported the ANC

  • steve - 2011-05-05 16:57

    Yippee! I wonder if it is cold in hell right now?

  • Dre - 2011-05-05 16:58

    Was she remanded? What happened to the state wanting to reopen their case? Questions SAPA, question!

  • Slapper - 2011-05-05 17:01

    Fantastic, I wonder how long that Judges job will be safe? Her husband the Minister of Intelligence should now either resign because the incompetent did not know what was happening, or should join her in the slammer because he did know.

  • Mark - 2011-05-05 17:03

    The honourable thing is for the Minister to resign. This man is the minister of State Security. We dont know the closeness that Cwele had with the Nigerian and if any State secrets were disclosed. Despite the trail the ANC and the Ugu municipality had Cwele on full pay and on active duty. Shame on you ANC, shame on you government, shame on Sheryl Cwele for bringing into disrepute the Minister.

      John - 2011-05-05 19:24

      An honourable ANC politician? Yeah right.

  • mike - 2011-05-05 17:04

    great stuff!!!!! She destroyed two desperate people's lives. What goes around comes around!!!!!!!!!!!! She thinks the court and the public is stupid. Cross examination is a great thing.

  • Agent - 2011-05-05 17:19

    Send the bitch to jail may she rot there. Can you imagine how many famalies are broken up because of people like her, or do we call them people, no low line scum of the earth.

  • Wizup - 2011-05-05 17:29

    Interesting that crimes done by "Blacks' do end with justifyable 'guilty' verdict. Alberton Agliotti 'friends' with a truck load of drugs, went free. What is 'Justice' in South Africa? It is when 'Blacks' get convictions and "Whites' go free.......

      Cire - 2011-05-05 17:31

      Oh go away!

      Darkwing Duck - 2011-05-05 17:56

      So you are saying that Zuma is white?

      Thandi - 2011-05-05 18:20

      Or that Selebi or Sheik are white??

      FerretGee - 2011-05-05 18:20

      It's not about the skin colur, it's about the evidence being sufficient to convict. Zuma got away with his court cases all on technicalities, he is not white so your argument falls flat. Oh... why do we bother...

      LuLuBug - 2011-05-05 19:07

      Wizup? Is this a joke? U sure are depriving some village of an idiot :(

  • Freakeee - 2011-05-05 17:43

    They can still appeal or serve a Shafeeek special...

  • Mabhulwana - 2011-05-05 17:44

    This is just an election ploy. There is no way that Sheryl C is gonna serve time in jail. A reason is gonna be manufactured as to why he cannot serve time. Instead she will do some community work. This is Mzansi fo sho!

  • Gert@swart - 2011-05-05 17:49

    She will serve her sentence in hospital as her old back problem will recur and the sentence could course debilitating high blood pressure warranting her being given parole.

  • Sprinkaan - 2011-05-05 18:01

    Oh no, now we must pay for another minister to visit his wife in prison. Perhaps we must let move in with them on the prison yard

  • FerretGee - 2011-05-05 18:16

    Wonder if she will suddenly get a terminal illness??

      Darkwing Duck - 2011-05-05 19:16

      Yeah...she'll probably catch flu on the way through O.R TAmbo while her police escort looks the other way.

  • frangelico - 2011-05-05 18:27

    ai cosiami tabagiti ye baba Sheryl.You couln,t get away with it, off to jail with you,but please don't do a Shaik Or Dewani on us.Us whities also need to see that justice is also meeted out to you darkie crooks.

  • MalKoei - 2011-05-05 19:18

    The drugs was probably paid for using income from stolen SAPS guns

  • cliveherron - 2011-05-05 19:27

    What kind of Minister of State Security do we have who does not even know that his own wife is breaking the law? In any other country the minister would resign

  • cliveherron - 2011-05-05 19:33

    How inefficient is the South African Minister of State Security when he does not even know his wife is involved in a drug racket? In any other civilised country the minister would be called upon to resign country NOT South Africa

      Sizwe - 2011-05-05 23:39

      It says a lot more about you, why comment you do not have the facts? She is estranged from the ministers, its been years now. All this was placed in the media last year already. how can you then qualify this ridiculous statement?

  • Monica - 2011-05-05 21:22

    Great news!!!!! Send her to jail; not to hospital!!!!

  • Lessy - 2011-05-05 21:54

    Like there are questions whether the Pakistanis knew about OBL, the question is HOW MUCH did hubby know? What a mess, what a mess! A once proud country, diminished to nothing but a Third World HELL HOLE!! Viva ANC, viva corruption and incompetence!

  • Herman le Roux - 2011-05-06 12:48

    She will be released because of medical reasons.

  • Skeptikal - 2011-05-07 17:41

    Its about time that the law took a bite back!! Let her rot where she deserves.

  • Skeptikal - 2011-05-07 17:43

    She probably has her Doctor's appointment for next week to see what terminal illness she has!

  • pages:
  • 1