The wife of South Africa's State Security Minister was arrested on Friday on charges of dealing drugs, the country's National Prosecuting Authority said.
Sheryl Cwele, wife of minister Siyabonga Cwele, was remanded in custody after appearing in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Friday, a spokesman for the NPA told Reuters.
"She (Cwele) has appeared today in the Pietermaritzburg High Court and she is in custody," NPA spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said. "She is facing one count of dealing in dangerous dependency producing drugs and two counts of incitement to dealing in dangerous dependency producing drugs dating back to May and June 2008."
Mhaga said the case was postponed to February 5 for a formal bail application, which prosecutors would oppose.
Cwele is facing the charges together with Frank Nabolis, a Nigerian national arrested in South Africa in December.
The two allegedly conspired to import cocaine into South Africa, recruiting young white women on the pretext of arranging short-term jobs for them overseas.
Cwele has also been linked to a high profile drugs case involving South African Tessa Beegte, who was arrested in Brazil in 2008 and is now serving time in a Sao Paolo jail.
In an interview with a local newspaper on Thursday, Cwele proclaimed her innocence. "I am a Christian, so I pray a lot. The only person who will solve this problem is God," the paper quoted her as saying.
Minister Siyabonga Cwele told the newspaper he had no knowledge of his wife's alleged drug dealings.
"Who is giving you this information? I don't know anything about what you're talking about and nobody has been charged," he said.
ReutersLast Mod: 29 Ocak 2010, 20:56