Cwele co-accused’s drug-dealing 20-year sentence overturned

The initial sentence of 12 years, handed down by the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in May, will now have to be reinstated.

Nabolisa and his co-accused, Sheryl Cwele, were tried and convicted in May 2011 in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court, Pietermaritzburg, for dealing in drugs with a street value of about R2-million.

After being convicted and sentenced each to 12 years of imprisonment, Nabolisa and Cwele appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeal in December 2011. Cwele appealed her conviction only, while Nabolisa challenged both the conviction and the sentence handed down to him.

According to a statement issued by the Constitutional Court on June 12, the state did not seek leave to cross-appeal against the sentence, instead it requested an increase in sentence.

" … In its written submissions, the state asked for an increase in sentence from 12 years to 15 years imprisonment," the statement read. 

"Emboldened by a later confirmation of a sentence of 20 years imprisonment by the Supreme Court of Appeal in another case, the state filed supplementary written submissions, stating that it would argue for the sentence imposed to be increased to 20 years imprisonment."

The court "found in the state’s favour and increased the sentence to 20 years imprisonment".

Nabolisa’s complaint against the increased sentence was that the state failed to comply with section 316B of the Criminal Procedure Act. This advises the state to provide the leave for appeal against a ciminal case tried in a high court.

Nabolisa contended that the procedure followed in the appeal court violated his constitutional right to a fair hearing on appeal.

Cwele, the former wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, was jailed in October.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Guest Author

Where is the deputy president?

David Mabuza is hard at work — it’s just not taking place in the public eye. The rumblings and discussion in the ANC are about factions in the ruling party, succession and ousting him

Zuma turns on judiciary as trial nears

Former president says pre-trial correspondence is part of another plot

SANDF inquiry clears soldiers of the death of Collins Khosa

The board of inquiry also found that it was Khosa and his brother-in-law Thabiso Muvhango who caused the altercation with the defence force members

Lockdown relief scheme payouts to employees tops R14-billion

Now employers and employees can apply to the Unemployment Insurance Fund for relief scheme payments

Press Releases

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday