Sheryl Cwele's lawyers consider options

2012-10-05 10:09

Pietermaritzburg - Lawyers for convicted drug dealer Sheryl Cwele may still try to soften the blow meted to her when the Supreme Court of Appeal extended her sentence to 20 years.

“We are still considering our position with regard to approaching the Constitutional Court,” her attorney, Madoda Nxumalo, said on Thursday.

Cwele had meanwhile braced herself to serve the 20-year sentence she began on Thursday, according to her pastor.

Fair hearing

Pastor Reggie John of the Kairos Ministries in Port Shepstone said two major issues she had to deal with ahead of her incarceration were the welfare of her elderly mother and the 3-year-old she had adopted.

He said he had visited her at her central Port Shepstone home during the three days between the Supreme Court of Appeal’s judgment and her reporting for prison.

John added that Cwele was obviously not pleased with the result of the appeal against her conviction.

“All along she said she was not trying to evade justice, she just wanted a fair hearing,” he said.

He also said his church would be available for the family, should they wish to talk.

Meanwhile, Marie Swanepoel of Margate, whose daughter, Tessa Beetge, is serving eight years in a Brazilian prison after Cwele and her co-accused Frank Nabolisa procured her to smuggle cocaine, said she felt “very well” knowing Cwele was behind bars.

Swanepoel said she had been informed on Thursday morning that Cwele had handed herself in to start serving sentence in Westville Prison.

Nothing to say

On Thursday morning, Cwele handed herself in at the KwaZulu-Natal High Court to start serving her sentence.

"I have nothing to say… I don’t even want to see you,” Cwele tearfully told The Witness while seated in the registrar’s office.

Cwele, her attorney and a man said to be her brother, had earlier managed to give the media the slip by entering the court building via a rear entrance.

She also took journalists by surprise by surrendering herself sooner rather than later by arriving at the office of high court registrar Ronel Jooste at 08:20, well before 13:00 as stipulated by her bail conditions.

When Jooste told Cwele the press were there, she immediately responded: “No, I don’t want to talk to them”.

A short while later, she had no option but to brave the glare of the cameras as she crossed the high court foyer with the waiting paparazzi in hot pursuit, and was escorted downstairs to the court cells.

Anxious to catch a final glimpse of her departing for Westville prison by police van, the media gathered in the parking lot outside the cells.

Police tried their best to shield their notorious charge from more publicity by reversing the police van as close to the stairs as possible. Cwele clambered inside and the van sped away.


Despite her tear-filled eyes hidden behind her glasses, Cwele appeared to have taken some trouble with her hairstyle, make-up and dress in keeping with her usual style.

On arrival at Westville shortly before 11:00, the van was met by a dozen armed prison officials with dogs. They immediately surrounded the vehicle.

Cwele could be seen seated in the shadows, alone in the back of the van.

A senior official was on hand to facilitate the former minister’s wife’s entry to jail.

Cwele’s last glimpse of freedom would have been the green trees and bush along the road leading to Westville prison, which is on top of a hill, a mere stone’s throw from the Pavilion shopping centre.

Correctional Services confirmed that she would undergo a routine medical examination and would spend the night in the prison hospital, before joining 383 other inmates wearing blue prison uniforms in the women’s section of the prison.

  • eva.walle.75 - 2012-10-05 10:14

    Ja, soften the blow by hanging her. That way she won't need to serve 20 years. - 2012-10-05 10:32

      Oh my word, another Cadre is trying to avoid going to prison. Trying all avenues. I,m amazed she hasn't become terminally ill lol. I hope this will be a lesson to all the other Cadre's who are planning on misusing their positions.

      lownabester - 2012-10-05 10:36

      Oh my word she looked so funny getting into the back of the police van yesterday, I had my laugh for the day then.

      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-10-05 11:05

      Considering options of how to make more money on this windfall case.

      mc.segal.5 - 2012-10-05 11:33

      Just hope the medical is a properly done one. Musn't get sick now eh?

      george.outremer - 2012-10-05 11:56

      I guess we can only hope that IF her case is heard by the Constitutional Court, that a further eight years are added to her sentence (sic). What is it with government, criminals and their lawyers that they do not respect rulings laid down by the High and Supreme Court of Appeal?

      ann.murray.9279 - 2012-10-05 13:10

      Surely she has run out of options. Sheryl, you made your bed, not enjoy lying in it!

  • christopher.m.lowe - 2012-10-05 10:18

    Your best 'option' is to declare a dreaded terminal disease, Sheryl. In South Africa, for the ANC glitterati and well connected, it works. Every time!

  • sanchez.sancho.7 - 2012-10-05 10:18

    good bye, see you soon

      john.kirkwood.9619 - 2012-10-05 11:40

      i dont think you are to far off the mark, i hope she does her full 20yrs but have a funny feeling she will be out before we know it.

  • Eterni80 - 2012-10-05 10:18

    yes indeed, you keep up with the stupid and they'll keep up with the sentence increase.. lock this rubbish up and throw away the room and the key..

      luke.dekoker - 2012-10-05 11:03

      You are right "ROOM KEY", she will most likely have a 3-bedroom luxury house on the prison grounds.

  • john.ferreira.1213 - 2012-10-05 10:18

    Very soon the public will read about a mysterious deadly sickness that will ensure her release on a medical pardon. If one has money then wonders can be achieved.

  • gary.doyle.520 - 2012-10-05 10:29

    Screw her!!! I'd worry more about payment for my bill if I was one of her lawyers.

      luke.dekoker - 2012-10-05 11:06

      Her lawyers are more than likely State Appointees for which our tax moneys will pay for??

  • Gill McCain - 2012-10-05 10:30

    Unless she appealed originally citing constitutional reasons then how can she now appeal to the Constitional Court? Don't think she as a legal leg to stand on. By the way what was with the new blond hairdo? Silly cow.

      mc.segal.5 - 2012-10-05 11:34


      mark.singh.9889 - 2012-10-05 12:06

      Who said these matters are resolved within the legal structures. its all about being a comrade

  • Andrea - 2012-10-05 10:34

    "... she just wanted a fair hearing", safe to say she never thought in a million years she would get caught, and if she did, that her social status would ensure her a favourable verdict? Justice was served, thanks!

  • norman.lewis.716 - 2012-10-05 10:35

    'Lawyers for convicted drug dealer Sheryl Cwele may still try to soften the blow meted to her when the Supreme Court of Appeal extended her sentence to 20 years.' Don't they mean, her Doctors?

  • azande.futhi - 2012-10-05 10:35

    she is in trouble. but how the hell do smuggle drugs when your husband is a minister and you are a director in a municipality. this family was surely netting more than R100 000 a month excluding the luxurous benefits for being a minister. what else might have been needed by this woman?

      verlene.abdol - 2012-10-05 10:43

      The love of money my dear...

      azande.futhi - 2012-10-05 10:47

      eish money is the source of all evil indeed.

      AyGeewils - 2012-10-05 11:23

      and now she has a pastor nogal!!

  • sarel.brits - 2012-10-05 10:36

    I would have loved to seen the WTF!!! moment on her face when she heard the court will be extended her State sponsored holiday to 20 years. Hope she rots away.

      fussed.anderson - 2012-10-05 11:48

      And Durban gets the stink, I think we can put up with it knowing it is her.

  • zelda.dickson - 2012-10-05 10:39

    I wonder how long it will be before she has Shaik's disease.

  • zelda.dickson - 2012-10-05 10:42

    She is lucky to have her life. Some countries it is the death penalty. Its people like her that is keeping these druggies going instead of getting themselves cleaned up. All dealers should be eliminated.

      beverly.young3 - 2012-10-05 11:42

      I agree, the bitch!! Total greed without consequences....I hope someone gets her 'hooked' in jail, preferably heroin, its incureable.

  • amanda.matthews.14811 - 2012-10-05 10:45

    Wow all dressed up to go to prison! She will be exchanging her glamourous attire for a plain blue uniform. Ag siestog.

  • andrew.mackie.90 - 2012-10-05 10:46

    Her lawyer is considering approaching the Concourt. On what grounds or is this another red herring to waste taxpayer money in having the judges listen to a sad tale of a drug smuggler?

  • shawn.swiegers - 2012-10-05 10:52

    Someone always has elderly parents and children at the time they commit the crime. Why should we take that into consideration when these thugs are sentenced, but while they commit the crimes they dont consider the effect on their elderly parents and young children. In 20 years when she comes out of prison she can explain her sins to her child.

      mc.segal.5 - 2012-10-05 11:37

      How Long ago did she adopt this Child? Not very well screened I think?

      beverly.young3 - 2012-10-05 11:46

      And some of us have children who took the rocky path. Unless you have walked this road, you cannot understand the stress, the sheer helplessness of trying to cure or help an addict. You would be shocked at the extent of the drug sellers claws. 9-11 year olds who are buying drugs....yes blame on both sides, but it is people like her who facilitate this.... DOWN WITH DRUGS!!!

  • oscar.manamela - 2012-10-05 10:53

    I guess she did not read the how to get sick manual correctly

      siphom.mnguni - 2012-10-05 11:13

      @Oscar.manamela:) I guess she is doing well and she is getting there with the manual because she started her prison life in hospital. Golf lessons shall follow, then assault lessons in case jounalists annoy you and maybe someone blocks your parking bay.

  • amanda.matthews.14811 - 2012-10-05 10:55

    Only in South Africa would a well heeled crook consider taking her case to the Constitutional Court. The ordinary poor man in the street goes straight to jail. No further options. The same must apply to Cheryl Cwele.

  • peter.l.morris.3 - 2012-10-05 10:56

    Shame pardon her terminal ill then she can go carry Shabir Shaik golf clubs

  • goodguy.buthelezi - 2012-10-05 10:57

    South Africans you must understand one thing: if you are rich or have Political connections, there is no place for you in jal. Prison is only designed for us poor people. Cwele is going to be released. They propably wont use the medical parole tactic. She will propable appeal her sentance again and this time she will be found 'innocent'

  • luke.dekoker - 2012-10-05 11:01

    What idiots..there is/should be NO Constitutional rights for DRUG DEALERS. But then again, it is an anc member who's plea will be considered as "majority rights/anc constitutional rights"

  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-10-05 11:04

    Constitutional court for what??? She is a slimy drug dealer,who only had dollar signs in her head and no thought for the crime she was commiting. Always amazes me how after something like this,then they all run to church! You still got off too lightly!!!!!

  • sanchez.modaco - 2012-10-05 11:15

    The next thing she will be applying for medical parole,

  • zvreenen - 2012-10-05 11:17

    Damn,.. now our taxes have to pay for her 20 years

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-10-05 11:24

    She must do her time, her full time, with no parole, medical or otherwise. Those who used drugs supplied by her and her dealers have mutilated minds now with no concern for elderly mothers or adopted children. So why should she worry about her elderly mother and adopted child? - Kathy

  • mark.haupt.31 - 2012-10-05 11:27

    Options? she's been sentenced to 20 years, her only option now is whether to eat or not. Oh yes, she'll also be able to vote at the next election, maybe even attend the big indaba in Manguang if somebody - perhaps her ex - can arrange some sick leave. Please keep us posted on this fascinating development.

  • david.a.meyer.925 - 2012-10-05 11:27

    What precisely are the "constitutional issues" that warrant an approach to the Constitutional Court (other than additional fees for her lawyers)?

  • eric.martinsich - 2012-10-05 11:27

    She was thinking of her family when she became a drug dealer. Get money off the backs of drug addicts and help screw up their families. Families suffer big time due to people like her. I feel ABSOLUTELY nothing for this piece of dog meat. Her only positive thing is she can help the okes in prison to get the drugs seen that she has all the contacts.

      mc.segal.5 - 2012-10-05 11:40

      I wouldnt feed that to my dog Eric.

  • cliffadams007 - 2012-10-05 11:44

    Every comment appears to be jubilant, so unchristian! Yes she must pay for her sins like anybody else but why "celebrate". What about forgiveness during this time. The Lord forgives. It could have been me or you in similar circumstances not necessarily drug related. When or if it does happens to you or one of your dear ones one day, revisit your comments at this time. Have a heart and pray for all people, regardless of race or status. God Bless you all. I love you. Have a heart! Remember how Jesus was crucified - and how he was mocked, jeered and tortured! Are we doing likewise to Sheryl, an ordinary human being?

      cliffadams007 - 2012-10-05 12:16

      5-0 drubbing so far, not entirely unexpected, should have been 60-0 as every one is confidently "celebrating". But may be the other 55 "got the message". God Bless!

      steve.gibson.146612 - 2012-10-05 12:42

      Jesus did not make money out of feeding innocent victums with drugs.

      cliffadams007 - 2012-10-05 13:32

      Steve@ Of course not Steve, but he did forgive all sinners.

      cliffadams007 - 2012-10-05 16:08

      So far a 15-0 drubbing for me, not humiliating for me because I love our Creator and wish to purport His stance on the lack of forgiving attitude and the tramping on one who is already in the gutter. Shame!

      joyce.beeton - 2012-10-05 20:54

      Justice is what Ms Cwele received Mr Adams. Jesus did not destroy the lives of people and their children, nor did he condemn people whom he saw commit wrong-doings either but justice must be seen to be done and what she did was evil and she did it for money. HE was also the "lamb sent to the slaughter" and was innocent of any crime. Cwele was not.

      cliffadams007 - 2012-10-08 16:42

      @Joyce Beeton - I have no problem with what you say and the punishment meeted out. My criticism (reread) was direceted at the constant celebratory comments and the lambasting while "lying in the gutter". A prayer for her and other similar wrongdoers might have been a better option.

  • tshepiso.mooketsi.7 - 2012-10-05 11:47

    everybody deserves a second chance

      marcus.steenberg.7 - 2012-10-05 11:53

      Like Clive Derby Lewis?

      anita.vanderiet - 2012-10-05 12:50

      I agree, but first take responsibility for your actions, show remorse for what you have done and not only big crocodile tears because you have been caught out! To cliffadams007: for sure, but the celebration is mainly because it is pretty rare in this country for such a high placed person to get this type of sentence! And remember has she shown any remorse whatsoever?? No she still wants to fight it out in court.

      cliffadams007 - 2012-10-05 13:41

      Anita@ Whether Sheryl takes responsibility for her acts or not, one don't celebrate another's downfall, except in sport where one celebrate one's victory indirectly the opponents' downfall or in politics.

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-10-05 11:49

    Her lawyers are probably searching for an illness she may develope that is untreatable in prison.

  • marcus.steenberg.7 - 2012-10-05 11:52

    Crocodile tears I'm sure. She was all smiles raking in the money from sending vulnerable South Africans all over the world to procure drugs for her to sell - let her rot as far as I am concerned. SCA's decision was great and I'm sure she's regretting the appeal. I feel no pity.

  • johan.jacobs.33821 - 2012-10-05 12:09

    Watch out, the next time,it is life,without parole.

  • SARealist - 2012-10-05 12:10

    What about the proceeds of her crime and when do the hawks attach her posessions? Just a thought!

  • juliana.bruwer - 2012-10-05 12:35

    Get her a pair of binoculars so that she can do window shopping from he window which is a stone throw away from the pavillion.

  • lindaawhelan - 2012-10-05 13:30

    If I were Cwele's lawyer, I'd also be considering options. I hear plumbing is a good trade.

      eleanore.hill - 2012-10-06 09:52

      Yes, especially considering this is not a Constitutional matter.

  • joyce.beeton - 2012-10-05 20:48

    Thousands of lives are destroyed through drugs - South Africa is probably the only country in the world where one can take obtain drugs, sell drugs, take drugs and deal in drugs without fear of the law. Many countries are merciless in their punishments for drug dealing. How many families are suffering right now because of drug dealers' greed!!!

  • jacqui.c.baumgardt - 2012-10-06 03:45

    Justice sometimes does prevail

      siphom.mnguni - 2012-10-06 12:34

      @jacqui.c.baumgardt:)true to the old principle of law, that when justice is done it must be seen to be done!

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