Cwele judgment restores faith in justice system
The Times Editorial: We have travelled this road before. We know how those who are politically connected behave once they are told they must go to prison.
They fight to the bitter end to avoid jail time.
If all else fails, they suddenly develop a mysterious ailment that will secure their return home to enjoy the fruits of freedom.
The public might have lost faith in our justice system because of the politically connected getting preferential treatment.
Some of the well-connected declared terminally ill have been seen enjoying a round of golf.
But all is not lost. Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Appeal acted without fear or favour and restored our faith in the system when, in a unanimous judgment, it increased from 12 years to 20 the prison sentence imposed on Sheryl Cwele , former wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, and her co-accused, Frank Nabolisa, both of whom had been convicted of drug smuggling.
Cwele and Nabolisa have denied they conspired to deal in drugs, that they got Charmaine Moss to collect drugs in Turkey, and that they arranged for Tessa Beetge to fly to South America, from where she was to smuggle cocaine.
Now that the Supreme Court has spoken, the nation is waiting to see whether Cwele will suddenly develop a sickness that will allow Correctional Services to send her home.
Who can blame her if she decides to follow in the footsteps of those close to power who are now enjoying their freedom.
Our Department of Correctional Services, if it is to regain its credibility, should comply with the decisions of the court.
Deals for those close to power will continue to erode trust in the system and will hamper our efforts to fight the crime and corruption that have engulfed our society and its institutions.