Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sheryl Cwele Suspended on Full Pay

 May 11 2011

Convicted drug dealer Sheryl Cwele has been suspended on full pay from her position as health services director of the Hibiscus Coast municipality. 

The decision was announced to the council on Tuesday. 

Municipal manager S’bu Mkhize confirmed that Cwele had been suspended, but would not comment further on the matter. 

“The council will decide on further disciplinary action within the next 30 days,” Mkhize said. 

However, DA members who attended the meeting said that Cwele had been suspended with her full monthly salary. 

The mother of four, who owns a R1.2 million house with her husband, State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, receives a net salary of R29 000. 

Cwele was convicted last Thursday, along with Nigerian national Frank Nabolisa, on a drug-dealing charge. 

Both received 12-year sentences the next day and were granted leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. 

Cwele’s bail of R100 000 was extended pending the outcome of her appeal, but Nabolisa returned to jail, having been in custody since his arrest in December 2009. 

Meanwhile, the  Right2Know campaign says that President Jacob Zuma must explain whether he knew about Cwele’s link to drug activities when he appointed her husband to his cabinet in 2009. 

The Right2Know campaign demands to know from President Jacob Zuma, who re-appointed Siyabonga Cwele to Cabinet as Minister of State Security in May 2009, whether he or officials within the Presidency had knowledge of the following:
  • Was any unit or operative within the intelligence sector aware of allegations that Sheryl Cwele was implicated in international drug trafficking at the time of her husband’s appointment?
  • If so, was this information shared with the President as part of what should be a standard intelligence risk assessment of all prospective members of Cabinet and their families in order to ensure the integrity of the executive?
  • If so, why did the President not take action by refusing to reappoint him, or removing the country’s top spy from his position in the interests of national security?
  • If not, why did the country’s spies withhold such critical information from the Presidency that could influence a crucial political appointment?

The coalition of civil society organisations wrote to Zuma on Tuesday following media reports that Zuma and former president Kgalema Motlanthe, now the deputy president, were indeed aware that Cwele was implicated in international drug trafficking at the time that her husband was appointed state security minister. 

The Presidency refused to comment on the letter. 

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