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Nabolisa's sentence reduced

Frank Nabolisa will now serve 12 years instead of the 20 that the SCA imposed on him.

Sheryl Cwele and co-accused Frank Nabolisa. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Constitutional Court has found in favour of Sheryl Cwele's co-accused Frank Nabolisa and has returned his jail sentence to 12 years.

Nabolisa and the Minister of State Security's wife were convicted of dealing in drugs and were each sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Nabolisa's sentence was increased on appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

Nabolisa went to the Constitutional Court after the Supreme Court of Appeal increased his sentence from 12 years to 20.

On Wednesday, the highest court in the land found in Nabolisa's favour and reinstated the lower sentence.

The court found that Nabolisa's right to a fair hearing on appeal was violated and that the SCA did not have jurisdiction to consider the issue of an increase in sentence.

The majority ruled that the state failed to apply for leave to cross appeal in the case and to appeal against the sentence imposed on Cwele - this meant the state lost its right to appeal against Nabolisa's sentence.

In May, Nabolisa filed an application against the minister of correctional services for certain prisoner privileges.

Nabolisa wanted his right to education and to be classified as a Group A prisoner which meant he could get his own computer and other preferential treatment.