South Africa

SA security minister under pressure after wife convicted of drug-running

Reuters

There are growing demands for the resignation of South Africa’s State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele after a court found his wife guilty of drug trafficking on Thursday.

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Critics say Cwele must have known that his wife was running young women as drug mules together with a Nigerian national found guilty with her.

Sheryl Cwele and Nigerian Frank Nobolisa will be sentenced Friday. They face a minimum of 15 years in jail.

Judge Piet Koen in the Pietermaritzburg High Court found them guilty of using drug mules to smuggle cocaine into South Africa.

Cwele has refused to comment on the case.

Koen questioned Cwele’s defence that she did not know the women were transporting drugs.

He asked if this were so why had the women been recruited and well paid to carry a parcel when courier services were available.

One of the women is in prison in Brazil, the other turned state’s evidence.

Last month South African security services suffered the embarrassment of having Crime Intelligence head Richard Mdlulu on the run before turning himself in to face trial for allegedly killing his rival in a love triangle.

Last July National Police Chief Jackie Selebi was found guilty of corruption for accepting more than a million rand from an organised crime figure he declared to be his friend.
 

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