Siyabonga Cyprian Cwele - The Minister of State Security
Current Position(s) Minister of State Security South Africa (2009 - present)
Member of Parliament, National Assembly, (1994 - present)
Political Party Member, African National Congress,
Minister of Intelligence, Government of South Africa (2008 - 2009)
Education / Degree(s)
Cwele, who was arrested at her office on Friday morning, would remain in jail until her bail application is heard next Friday.
Cwele’s lawyer Mvuseni Ngubane said: "We will file bail application papers early on Tuesday and the State will file on Thursday. What is happening is the exchange of papers."
The bail hearing would take place on Friday, he said.
Sheryl Cwele denies drug charges
Sheryl Cwele, 50, the wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, has denied being involved in drug trafficking.
In bail application papers filed in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court on Tuesday, Cwele describes how she got involved with the man accused of working with her to traffic drugs.
"I wish to categorically state that I never knowingly participated in any drug trafficking, conspiracy or incitement to deal in drugs as set out in the indictment or at all," said Cwele.
Sheryl Cwele's bail papers not filed
The filing of bail application papers for Sheryl Cwele, wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, was delayed in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday.
Cwele’s lawyer Mvuseni Ngubane on Monday said the papers would be lodged early on Tuesday.
By 13:30, Cwele’s legal team had yet to file the bail application papers. The bail hearing is set to take place on Friday.
Sheryl Cwele wants to test cocaine
Alleged drug dealer Sheryl Cwele has denied ever “knowingly” participating in drug trafficking or related charges and has demanded that the State should locate the cocaine she is alleged to have dealt in so that she can determine “if it is in fact cocaine”.
In an affidavit in support of her bail application, to be heard on Friday, 49-year-old Cwele - who is married to State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele - said that when she asked, through her legal representative, that the cocaine in question be made available for testing, the State’s response was that it “must be somewhere in Brazil”.
“It is clear that the State has not even seen the alleged cocaine, let alone tested it to ensure that it is in fact cocaine,” she said.
Cwele said she was concerned that the State had decided to charge her and tell the court that it was ready to proceed to trial when it may “well be obliged to retrieve the substance, which may no longer be in existence, from Brazil".
“It is not in the interest of justice to keep me in custody when the State still has to go hunting for cocaine,” she added.
Cwele complains in her affidavit that a large portion of the investigation docket given to her in the case is in Portuguese and said that by putting allegations against her in Portuguese the State acted unconstitutionally.
Sheryl Cwele case is private
The state security department declined to comment on Thursday on the drug charges against Sheryl Cwele, who is the wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele. "We wish to advise that the matter is before the courts and that the accused be accorded her rights to dignity and a fair trial which must be respected. Any inquiries must be directed to the National Prosecuting Authority or the lawyers representing her," said spokesperson Brian Dube.
They would also not make any further comment on the matter.
Ms Cwele denied being involved in drug trafficking in her bail application papers filed in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday.
"I wish to categorically state that I never knowingly participated in any drug trafficking, conspiracy or incitement to deal in drugs as set out in the indictment or at all," she stated.
Sheryl Cwele, the wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, should not be granted bail because she is a flight risk, the State argued in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburtg on Thursday.
Cwele was also likely to interfere with the investigation or trial, the State argued in papers filed with the court opposing bail.
It had a strong case against her and intended calling five witnesses, it submitted.
Drug trafficking accused, Sheryl Cwele, 49, currently has three valid passports, travels abroad regularly and a record of her 16 trips overseas between 2001 and 2009 indicated that she'd made mainly round trips "barely sleeping on the other side" before returning to South Africa.
The purpose for these visits was "not clear". These are the findings of a department of home affairs investigator, Willem Vorster, whose affidavit was filed in theKwaZulu-Natal High Court by the prosecution in opposition to the granting of bail to Cwele, also says forged RSA passports are "readily available" and that "factories" making them are run mainly by illegal foreigners of West Africa origin.
In her affidavit filed earlier this week, Cwele said she had lost her passport and currently has a temporary passport which she applied for in December last year as the family was travelling to Mozambique. She had also applied for a permanent passport which was awaiting collection.
Cwele added that although it was a work requirement for her to have a passport she is "not really a regular traveller" and that the last overseas trip she undertook was a work-related one to Sweden in 2007 or 2008.
According to Ludick when he arrested Cwele at the entrance to the Hibiscus municipality building where she works on Friday last week, she was "suddenly locked", and when the doors were opened it was clear that staff were trying to protect her.
Ludick said police had to search the building to find Cwele.
"She was found hiding behind a desk, in the dark, and which was not even her office."
Cweles not estranged - lawyer
It was not true that State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele and his drug trafficking accused wife Sheryl have been estranged for five years, a court heard on Friday.
Sheryl Cwele's lawyer Mvuseni Ngubane told the Pietermaritzburg High Court the couple had spent the December holidays together in Mozambique.
"The allegation is a lie. It does not exist.......
Minister Cwele at court for wife
State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele attended the bail application for his wife Sheryl Cwele in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court on Friday.
His appearance surprised journalists as he and his wife had been estranged for more than four years, according to court papers.
The court gallery was full of Cwele's relatives and friends.
'No special rules' for Sheryl Cwele
Cabinet have not discussed a drug trafficking case against the wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, says Deputy Police Minister Fikile Mbalula.
"Why would cabinet discuss a specific case," Mbalula said at a media conference at the ANC's offices in Cape Town on Friday.
"The courts and law enforcement agencies are dealing with the matter."
"There is no way cabinet can change into a judiciary or bench of judges to determine the case of an individual."
Fikile Mbalula. said the case was being treated "just like any other".
"There are not special rules for somebody because they are a wife of somebody."
"There is always a problem with media in South Africa. You put the cart before the horse. "
“You don't know even know the facts but you are already calling for people to die."
Sheryl Cwele granted R100 000 bail
Sheryl Cwele, the wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, was granted bail of R100 000 by the KwaZlu-Natal High Court on Friday.
After hearing arguments from Cwele's lawyer and the State prosecutor, Judge Sharmaine Balton said she was satisfied the minister’s wife would not evade trial or interfere with the State witnesses.
“I am very concerned about the period that she will have to wait. It's unacceptable that the applicant should languish in prison too long before the start of the trial,” she said.
The State had earlier indicated it would be ready for trial in October.
Giving reasons why Cwele should not be granted bail, State prosecutor Ian Cooke said he was concerned that the accused had been out of the country 16 times in less than a year and had three passports.
Ngubane said his client deserved bail, as the State had a weak case.
“The State does not have the cocaine that it alleges was smuggled by my client. We will request the State to furnish us with the cocaine so that we can inspect it.”
Sheryl Cwele's drug trial date set
The drug trafficking trial of Sheryl Cwele, wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, and her Nigerian co-accused will begin on October 11, the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg heard.
3 Brazilians to testify in Sheryl Cwele case
Three Brazilians will testify in the drug trafficking case against the state security minister’s wife and a Nigerian national, the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg heard on Monday.
The drug trafficking case against Frank Nabolisa and Sheryl Cwele, 42, the wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, started at 10:00 on Monday.
The court heard that the State would call Jean Carlos de Bortole of the Brazilian Federal Police, Carolina Passato Braga, and Denilison Ricardo Maia who examines drugs.
Mom hopes for daughter's release
Tessa Beetge, the South Coast woman who was arrested in Brazil in 2008 for being in possession of 9.2kg of cocaine, is eager to return to South Africa and put everything that has happened behind her, according to her mother, Marie Swanepoel.
I made a big mistake - Sheryl Cwele witness
South Coast beautician Charmaine Moss testified on Monday that she made a "big mistake" by putting her trust in her friend Sheryl Cwele - wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele - who is on trial with Nigerian Frank Nabolisa for trafficking in cocaine.
Moss said Cwele told her she had recommended her to an agency that previously found Cwele work overseas, because she had a “dream” that God wanted her to.
Cwele told her she had worked overseas “16 or 17 times” for the same agency after her husband left her in 2005.
It was arranged for Moss to fly to Johannesburg and on to Turkey, once her visa was obtained. At first Moss said she did not ask questions about the agency, the work she was to do, or salary of R25 000 (for two weeks’ work) that Cwele said she would be paid.
Cwele mentioned she might work in a health spa, be a caregiver or do administrative work.
”I trusted my friend - later I realised I made a big mistake, Charmain said. She testified further on Monday that she decided to abandon the offer by Cwele and Nabolisa of work after an incident when Nabolisa told her she was "asking too many questions" and slapped her across the mouth the day before she was due to fly to Turkey.
She said she started to ask questions after becoming "nervous" because Nabolisa drove her through a seemingly "bad" area in Johannesburg. "Something told me I was in the wrong place," said Moss.
Sheryl Cwele subsequently explained her job was to bring a parcel back from Turkey for "Frank", but she did not accept. Nabolisa took her to the airport and paid for her flight home, she said.
Mother of 'drug mule' testifies
Swanepoel told the court how excited her daughter was when Cwele allegedly organised an overseas job for her which would see her getting free travel, free accommodation, free clothing and £1 000.
She said her daughter had been told she would work in London.
Sheryl Cwele gave assurances....
They’d met with Cwele at her Hibiscus Coast municipal office who assured them they had nothing to worry about. Cwele said Beetge’s flights would be paid for, she’d be accommodated in a top London hotel, given clothing and earn a thousand pounds doing “admin work”. Prior to her departure from Durban (on May 14,2008) Cwele gave Beetge a warm (leopard coloured) “good luck “ coat to wear and an envelope with R500 to pay for her flight to Johannesburg.
Six days later Cwele called to say Tessa had landed safely at “JF Kennedy airport”, but after that when Swanepoel tried to reach Cwele she did not call back.
At midnight on Friday, June 13, 2008, Swanepoel got a call from Beetge to say she was arrested for drug trafficking at Sao Paulo airport.
”Within half an hour I called Sheryl to tell her Tessa was arrested...She called me the next morning and said we should await a call from the Brazilian embassy but nothing happened.”
In the period that followed she said she tried to “get answers” from Cwele but her office would not put her through and Cwele did not answer her cellphone.
Man claims he was recruited by Sheryl Cwele
The boyfriend of a woman imprisoned for drug trafficking told the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Thursday he was also recruited to "work" overseas by Sheryl Cwele, wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele. "When she (Cwele) was arranging for Tessa Beetge to go overseas, she also asked if I was interested and I turned the offer down," said Hendrik Claasen.
Tessa Beetge's story: