Sheryl Cwele's jail sentence reduced

2013-08-21 07:28

Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court has reduced convicted drug dealer Sheryl Cwele's prison term from 20 years to 12 years, Beeld reported on Wednesday.

The court ruled that Cwele, who is the ex-wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, receive the same sentence as that of her co-accused Frank Nabolisa.

The two were initially convicted in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in May 2011 of using drug mules to smuggle cocaine and were each sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment.

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

Nabolisa approached the Constitutional Court, which ruled that 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 that her sentence be reduced in light of its findings in Nabolisa's case.

Drug mule's mother not surprised

The Witness reported on Wednesday that the mother of convicted drug mule Tessa Beetge, who remains in prison in Brazil, said it came as no surprise that Cwele's sentence had been reduced to 12 years, because Nabolisa's sentence had already been reduced.

"I just think both of them should not get out on parole at all," said Marie Swanepoel.

Beetge has already served over five years of her total jail sentence of seven years and nine months. She was caught in possession of 10.2kg of cocaine at Sao Paulo airport after being recruited by Cwele and Nabolisa.

Swanepoel told The Witness she has no telephonic contact with her daughter because the prison won't allow foreign inmates to receive or make phone calls.

"All she is allowed is to receive and send two e-mails per week. She has many people she keeps in touch with, but she always tries to e-mail me.

"I do know she is not receiving any benefits because of her case being high profile," Swanepoel said.

  • FinalJustice - 2013-08-21 07:39

    Getting away with murder, what else could you expect. Everyone is equal, some are just more equal than others.

      Linds Ron-House - 2013-08-21 08:11

      How is this "getting away with murder?" And how are some more equal than others? In fact I see double standards on the part of the Supreme Court of Appeals. In the Nicholson judgement which the NPA appealed to the SCA, the SCA judges were very critical of Judge Nicholson for considering matters that were not in the papers filed by both the NPA and the defense. But in this case the SCA judges themselves considered the sentence, which was not in the papers or arguments filed by both the NPA and the defense. So the ConCourt was correct to overturn the ruling of the SCA because the SCA didn't rely on what was presented to it.

      Marlene Black - 2013-08-21 08:39

      @linds: if you sell drugs you might as well sell poison. Drug users die - their families are left to carry the burden, probably for the rest of their lives. She should have got life!

      Andre Van Deventer - 2013-08-21 08:44

      And the authorities are serious about combating drug peddling? hahahahaha!

      Linds Ron-House - 2013-08-21 09:22

      Simple economics - supply and demand. If there was no demand for drugs there wouldn't be drug peddlers. Even legal drugs (medicinal drugs) do kill if used irresponsibly. A number of people commit suicide through legal drugs. Can you accuse pharmacists of murder? Cars kill too if driven irresponsible. In fact everything kills.

      Stefan Van Der Spuy - 2013-08-21 11:18

      Drugs are a fact, "like a cow". Where there is demand, there will always be supply. And it's a luctrative business. I think far more emphasis should be placed on reducing the "demand" side, e.g. poverly

      Freddie Miller - 2013-08-21 11:21

      Linds, now you are just trawling for insults. Stop being a troll.

  • Sthembiso Jali - 2013-08-21 07:39

    Raping the lady justice all over again.

      Siyabonga Biyela - 2013-08-21 08:01

      Principle dude! If the state had appealed the sentence, the increased sentence may have been upheld by the Constitutional court.

      Aborted News - 2013-08-21 09:12

      And worst of all the rape is made public,and there's nothing we can do about it. We are all victims of rape, thanks to the government's constant sodomy i can never ever sit again.

      Jenny Webbe - 2013-08-21 12:34

      Too true. And Pule got a rap on the knuckles, suspended for two weeks and one month's salary forfeited. This govt is a sad joke.

  • Herklaas Jantjies - 2013-08-21 07:40

    Animal farm

  • Luzuko Mlambo Qongo - 2013-08-21 07:41

    Offcourse! Throw in a few presidential pardons and good behaviour bullcrap coupled with a kidney failure trick and she'll be out by next Christmas....

  • Nqaba Tom - 2013-08-21 07:42

    She had harsh sentence because of popularity of her ex husband

      logical007 - 2013-08-21 08:00

      No she go a sentence fit for her crime DRUG smuggling... They lightened the sentence as she is an ANC comrade

      Linds Ron-House - 2013-08-21 08:20

      @Logical, your last statement is devoid of any sense or truth. Is Nabolisa also an ANC comrade? Advocate Barbie was release on Monday after serving less than 2 years, is she an ANC comrade? Scott-Crossley (the one who killed a former employee and dumbed his body in a lion den) was released after serving just over 2 years, is he an ANC comrade? Two of the Waterkloof 4 were released after serving just over 2 years, are they ANC comrade? The rugby player who killed a police officer didn't serve any time at all. He paid R750k and walked away, is he an ANC comrade? People just make wild statements that are not based on any fact. The fact is that people's sentences are reduced on appeal everyday and many others released on parole.

      Hein Huyser - 2013-08-21 08:30

      In fact, because of her relationship with Cele she should've gotten life without parole. She tarnished the already tattered reputation of South Africa even more than what was neccesary.

      Revelgen - 2013-08-21 08:51

      Linds Ron House, a question for you: do you believe that Siyabonga Cwele, State Security minister, who would have had major intelligence contacts, did NOT know about Sheryl Chele's drug dealing? Just an honest yes or no will suffice.

      logical007 - 2013-08-21 08:54

      @ Linds Ron House Take my comment in context. I'm referring to Nqaba Toms' comment about the harsh sentence she received - not about all these irrelevant people you have bought up out of the wood work. Lets attempt to stay on topic or answer the person you are dealing with.

  • Phumi Ntlabati - 2013-08-21 07:44

    Why this black woman was given a lifesentence by a white judge, as a first time offender is beyond me? Even self confessed killers like Bees, Krech, or Aggliotti are out on suspended sentences that are far worse crimes than Cwele of drug smuggling! It's moments like these that I echo the calls of many of progressive forces, that are requesting a total overhaul of our justice system!

      Johan Du Preez - 2013-08-21 07:55

      @ Phumi, she was never given a life sentence.... first it was 12, then increased to 20..... Don't know about you, but 20 years does really not sound like a "lifesentence" to me....

      Feik Mc Heither - 2013-08-21 08:00

      Phumi, you are an idiot. I don't normally call people that, but you need a moment of self reflection.

      logical007 - 2013-08-21 08:02

      You forgot to mention WINNIE Mandela - She murdered young boy and got off scot free! No law is to great for that clown!

      Geoff O'Connell - 2013-08-21 08:15

      Phumi... I don't know if you are the same "Phumi Shange" that made the most stupid comments on the Oscar Pistorius - State to seek life" article.... If you are not then one thing is very clear..... YOU BOTH SHOULD STAY OFF THE WONGA WHÊNA!!!!! Yho, yho yho!!!! Haibo, your mind she is drviing like Mageza dha taxi off the cliff. Stupid comment troll, it had nothing to do with the judge being white!!

      NickvanGraan - 2013-08-21 08:18

      Troll alert!! racist on the loose ...

      Peter L Morris - 2013-08-21 08:18

      You are an idiot Bees was defending himself while he was being robbed, drugs are our downfall and its leads to more murders of innocent people

      Hein Huyser - 2013-08-21 08:35

      Phumi you are a racist twit. Going with your argument we must now insist that all whites are only judged upon through white judges and blacks by black judges! Are you admitting that there is something wrong with our law? The only problem is your blatant stupidity and racism We are getting tired of that now. If you want a country for blacks only, move to Zim.

      jerhone - 2013-08-21 12:53

      phumbi you love the Chinese don't you? what sentence do you think they would have given her

  • Gcwabe-KaMavovo - 2013-08-21 07:44

    Shaik Selebi Adv Barbie Cwele Oscar?

      Gcwabe.KaMavovo - 2013-08-21 07:50

      Oops. And how about Agliotti and Bees Roux walking out scot-free.

      logical007 - 2013-08-21 08:03

      And winnie

      Hein Huyser - 2013-08-21 08:38

      What has Bees' case got in common with this cheap drugg-smugglers' case? The one smuggled from a position of graft, cadre deployment and greed, the other one was highjacked and about to be robbed and who knows, maybe shot by a croocked cop. Please do tell why these two cases are simmilar to you?

      Thabang Bonang - 2013-08-21 09:02

      Apartheid police from apartheid years.

      Firstseed Mbeva - 2013-08-21 10:18


      Tersia Louw - 2013-08-21 11:32

      Eish, Thabang, twattier and twattier with every comment. Give it a rest, dude, and spend more of your time actually THINKING rather than just COMMENTING, usually from a point of almost supernatural ignorance.

      jerhone - 2013-08-21 12:56

      it all comes down to our constipational court they are useless have no real teeth

  • Langa Meyiwa - 2013-08-21 07:55

    am beginning to wonder if anybody EVER serves their full sentence.

      Feik Mc Heither - 2013-08-21 08:02

      Yes, the poor

  • Dave Ueckermann - 2013-08-21 07:57

    Maybe she is being groomed for a position in Parliament. Seems jailtime or crimminal activiaty is a prerequisit. so all is in order for her release

  • FJ Cele - 2013-08-21 07:57

    You not only destroyed the "drug mules" life, but also all the poor people that would have received the drugs. Your parents is probably so proud of you? Sorry that the Judge were lenient on dont deserve it.

  • Ted Muusha - 2013-08-21 08:01

    Drug smugglers and child molesters deserve the death sentence. It alters people's lives forever. Why Cwele, Barbie, Nabolisa, that doggy lady and others are treated thus is repugnant to my social and moral conscience.

      Hein Huyser - 2013-08-21 08:43

      Indeed Ted, the kingpins need to be permanently removed

  • Roy Shellard - 2013-08-21 08:03

    It just shows that crime does pay for CERTAIN individuals in this country, that is why we are going to stay a third world country!!!!

  • Lynette Hugo - 2013-08-21 08:04

    Dit gaan mos deesdae lekker in SA hoekom skort julle nie sommer haar hele tyd op nie, dan kan sy mos more of ooremore, weer van vooraf begin smokkel, en dan sal sy mos baie versigtiger wees, hierdie land is apsoluut vrot van korupsie.

      Phumi Peter Ramokolo - 2013-08-21 08:44

      Dit is waar, want sy is n ryk, maar as sy arm was soos ek, die landdros sou plaas het toegeneem van vermindering. Ek vra myself as hy vir haar gegee het dat die vonnis deur die fout of wat! Dit is hoogs onregverdige, maar een dag god sal gaan met hierdie monsters gestuur deur Zuma. Mxm

      Tersia Louw - 2013-08-21 11:34

      Hear, hear, Phumi and Lynette.

  • Feik Mc Heither - 2013-08-21 08:08

    This is just a matter of the rich taking advantage of the justice system. They will continue to rape the justice system & it's the middle class that will suffer the most. Robbery, rape, murder, harassment (I.e. from police & Metro cops, nurses, public workers) and poor service delivery...all these directed to men & women who are trying to earn an honest living. Makes me sick.

  • Sabelo Mcondobi - 2013-08-21 08:09

    Andothukanga kaloku unemali uba ibinguSabelo Mcondobi ebezawufela ejele kuba yena engakhathalelwanga eyimpula kalujaca.

  • Raymond Kok - 2013-08-21 08:12

    so she will be home for christmas ,prove that it pays to be connected

  • Thabang Joseph Tshabalala - 2013-08-21 08:15

    Great message to all drug dealers, jail is not a good place for comrades.

  • Peter L Morris - 2013-08-21 08:15

    Or probably at Victor Verster, with a swimming pool and warders to her back and call

  • Hemlock - 2013-08-21 08:19

    Palm greasing.....!

  • Richard - 2013-08-21 08:20

    Why, she is the mastermind behind it using other people to do the dirty work. I suppose she will develop some serious life threatening disease in about 9 months.

  • Staczen Ngoeper - 2013-08-21 08:25

    She deserve that,that is the results of committing crime.

  • Dazza22 - 2013-08-21 08:26

    Great news for all drug dealers, use Cweles case as a precedent! Just what we need, more drug dealers on the streets

      Bhekinkosi Langa - 2013-08-21 08:36

      The fact of the matter here is tha Moogo Moogo is Showerhead's stoogie so is 85% of the lower Courts like in Zim.

  • Bhekinkosi Langa - 2013-08-21 08:26

    Expect Parole very soon as in this Democracy things are done per who u are with whom are u connected with within the High Profiled Leaders within the Ruling Party nd which Prov are u hailing from.

  • Tyrone Kelly - 2013-08-21 08:27

    why don't the courts just REDUCE all the criminals sentences....really!!!!!! we "might" (sic" be so much better off as a "nation standing together" godamn F ID io t s........

  • Luzuko Tosh Plaatjie - 2013-08-21 08:29

    she s the wife of a minister after all

  • Faiz Dolley - 2013-08-21 08:35

    Is Cwele's wife a Nigerian? Coz pple relate drug dealings to Nigerians.

  • Rob Gunning - 2013-08-21 08:35

    Maybe she will catch a terminal disease preventing her from serving her sentence.

  • Leonard Tsolo - 2013-08-21 08:36

    @ Leonard. i used to like your comments, but now that you calling people idiot, I lost your respect.Would it sound good if I say you are also IDIOT.This site gives people platform to express their views.

  • Duncan Sime - 2013-08-21 08:37


  • Hein Huyser - 2013-08-21 08:40

    Indeed Ted, the kingpins need to be permanently removed from society. I

  • Rafeeq Hawkins - 2013-08-21 08:41

    Discount for being an ANC member.

  • Thulasizwe Khumalo - 2013-08-21 08:46

    Drug dealers are suppose to receive life sentences without parole. Thailand is taking no nonsense to drug dealers. If SA can adopt that law , they will see that S African law is fed up now. This dogs are killing the future of our children. Nigerians , why are they allowed to come to SA ?

  • David Luis - 2013-08-21 08:48

    Are we even surprised??

  • Phumi Peter Ramokolo - 2013-08-21 08:57

    Dear Magistrate. Sir/Madam "Innocent question" I'm I gonna get the same advantage if it was me,a poor man from a poor family or u would have increased from 20 to 30years? If I would hv given the same treatment,then please go n influence other magistrates to reduce that from poor suspects dy r given more sentence from the same reason why Mrs S Cwele is in penitentiary. To show that we are equal,weather me or showerman. Thank u

  • Christopher Mark V Lowe - 2013-08-21 09:00

    Why am I not surprised? With her husband still SA's Intelligence minister, and that liar and thief in the presidency, it was only a matter of time. Why not just call her terminally ill and send her home to die right now?

  • Ms M. - 2013-08-21 09:01

    Hope you have learnt your lesson. Prison is no place for a woman, hopefully you'll get paroled in 3yrs.

  • Jacqui Daane Van Rensburg - 2013-08-21 09:09

    Yes, and next year they will both be free for good behaviour. In the meantime their drug mule can remain in prison.

  • Matlou Mphengoa - 2013-08-21 09:13

    LOL,from 12 upto 20,now 20 down to 12,what's next,medical parole?

  • Phakiso Moleko - 2013-08-21 09:17

    Why SA not implimenting daeth sentences for people dealing withi drug? just like China........these things of drugs won't be here if they have all that.

  • Inga Prince - 2013-08-21 09:29

    It helps to know people in high places.....

  • Firstseed Mbeva - 2013-08-21 09:36

    I beg your pardon?

  • Puleng Mabuya - 2013-08-21 09:37

    lol...yesterday 75% were saying advocate barbie learned her lesson,she was brain washed she deserves to be release and today is cwele deserve to rot in jail.

      Ms M. - 2013-08-21 11:03

      see how sa law is biased towards colour? Prison is no place for a woman, she should be sentenced to community service.

  • Hamelton Ethin - 2013-08-21 09:47

    Who's fooling who here? We all know she won't even spend that 12yrz in prison,she will get a parole before the end of this year,poor justice system

  • Charles A. - 2013-08-21 10:01

    Already lined up for a job in Mr. Zuma's new cabinet next year. Minister of drug trafficking.

  • Winifred Watson - 2013-08-21 10:14

    Did we expect her to really spend all that time in Jail, sentence reduced to 12 years, she will be out next year. Look at the problem we are having with gangs and drugs, and this madam is caught for being part and parcel of the problem. She has brought disgrace to this Government as her ex husband is connected to interpol and she was smuggling drugs under his nose. Either is was stupid or he turned a blind eye. Seems in african culture their must be no word for justice. Their justice always defies the law.

  • Arthur Salvado - 2013-08-21 10:23

    She'll be out for Xmas .

  • CALAMITYSA - 2013-08-21 10:34

    Like Dina Pule? And she's still an MP?

  • James Smythe - 2013-08-21 10:53

    The fix is in! What a surprise, hey? Wait a little while and she will be paroled next!

  • John Tex - 2013-08-21 11:05

    Na Really !!

  • 21st - 2013-08-21 11:08

    power manipulation.Those who own power easily manipulate the hand of justice.