NPA 'overjoyed' with Cwele's new sentence

The SCA found that Sheryl Cwele's original sentence was “disturbingly inappropriate”.

Sheryl Cwele, wife of Minister for State Security Siyabonga Cwele, inside the Pietermaritzburg High Court on 5 February 2010. Picture: Shan Pillay/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Monday said it was elated by the decision handed down by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) to increase Sheryl Cwele's jail sentence from 12 to 20 years.

The Bloemfontein Court found that the sentence imposed on State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele's ex-wife was "disturbingly inappropriate".

In May 2011, Cwele and co-accused Frank Nabolisa were found guilty of drug dealing by the Pietermaritzburg High Court in KwaZulu-Natal.

Cwele then appealed the ruling.

The court dismissed her appeal and found that her 12-year sentence did not fit the crime.

KwaZulu-Natal NPA spokesperson Natasha Ramkisoon said they were overjoyed with the new sentence.

Criminal law expert Steven Tuson said, "What these two did was appeal the conviction as well as the sentence.The convictions were then confirmed.

"The state gave notice to them that they intended to apply for an increase [in their jail sentence] . After that, the accused could not change their appeal."

Cwele has been out on R100,000 bail.

The NPA said she now has to hand herself over to authorities to start her sentence.