Cwele reports to court for sentence
KwaZulu-Natal - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has confirmed that convicted drug dealer Sheryl Cwele has reported to the Pietermaritzburg High Court in the first step of her 20-year prison sentence.
The NPA’s spokeswoman Natasha Ramkisson confirmed to IOL that Cwele reported to court at about 8am on Thursday morning.
“We can go on the record to say that Sheryl Cwele has been at court this morning,” she said.
Ramkisson said the process of incarceration would be left up to other authorities to decide.
She could not confirm if Cwele would start serving her sentence in Pietermaritzburg or at Durban’s Westville Prison.
Cwele, the former wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, had her 12-year sentence for drug conviction increased to 20 years by the Supreme Court of Appeal on Monday.
The Supreme Court of Appeal felt that the 12-year sentence imposed on Cwele and her co-accused Frank Nabolisa was “disturbingly inappropriate” and replaced it with a 20-year term, for which the State had argued.
The pair were convicted in 2011 by Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Piet Koen, who found they had recruited two women, Tessa Beetge and Charmaine Moss, to smuggle cocaine into South Africa.
Beetge, who currently serving an eight-year sentence in Brazil, was arrested in 2008 at São Paulo Airport, in possession of more than 10kg of cocaine.
Her mother, Marie Swanepoel, said she would be contacting Brazilian authorities, based on Cwele’s sentencing, to negotiate an early release of her daughter.
Speaking to the Daily News, Swanepoel said: “Tessie has forgiven Sheryl, I am sure of that. That is typical Tessie. But I have not yet.”
On Tuesday, Cwele called her pastor, Reggie John, to pray for her at her home in Port Shepstone on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, where she lives with her three-year-old adopted daughter and mother.- IOL
Follow @BENiTAsays or email: email@example.com