Sheryl Cwele, the wife of South Africa’s intelligence minister, Siyabonga Cwele, has been arrested on drug-dealing charges. She has been charged with hiring the services of a woman to collect drugs in Turkey and arranging with another woman to smuggle cocaine from Brazil. She was arraigned in court charged with conspiring to bring cocaine into South Africa. The judge remanded her in custody until her bail application is heard in a week. She is facing the charges along with a Nigerian national, Frank Nabolis, who was also arrested in South Africa in December. In a statement to the media, Sheryl Cwele has protested her innocence saying she has no knowledge of the drug dealing.
The arrest of Sheryl Cwele came as a result of newspaper reports linking her to the drug deal. She then took leave in December from her job as director for health and community services at the Hibiscus Coast Municipality. After she returned to work last week, she was arrested at her office and was then scheduled to appear at Pietermaritzburg High Court. The National Prosecuting Authority in South Africa said Mrs Cwele faces one count of dealing in dangerous dependency-producing drugs and two counts of incitement to dealing in dangerous dependency-producing drugs, dating back to May and June 2008. According to a local South African newspaper, her husband claims to have no knowledge of his wife’s alleged drug offences.
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