State witness in drug trafficking trial has a prior conviction

Ramsgate – Charmaine Moss, a state witness in the drug trafficking trial of Sheryl Cwele, had a prior conviction for shoplifting, the Ramsgate High Court heard today.

During cross-examination by Cwele’s advocate, Mvuseni Ngubane, Moss admitted she was arrested for theft at a Woolworths store in Shelly Beach in 2007.

The value of the goods stolen was R3 276.55, the court heard.

The state alleges that Cwele, the wife of state security minister Siyabonga Cwele, and Nigerian national Frank Nabolisa conspired to recruit Moss as a drug mule.

The state alleges that the pair also recruited Tessa Beetge. Beetge was arrested when 10kg of cocaine was found in her luggage in Brazil in 2008.

She is currently serving a jail sentence in Sao Paulo.

Moss, a former police officer, claims that Cwele promised her a job overseas and that she turned it down as she suspected something was amiss.

During her previous court appearance in Pietermaritzburg last year, Moss claimed she was treated badly by Nabolisa in Johannesburg.

When Ngubane asked her whether she reported the matter to the police, Moss said she did not.

Moss said she had only told her security guard friend at the OR Tambo International Airport.

“He told me that he knew a police officer who was investigating and that he would tell him to call me,” said Moss.

Cwele appeared to be relaxed during court proceedings today compared with other court appearances in the Pietermaritzburg High Court last year.

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