This story could only happen in Africa, or maybe Russia. And as insane as this sounds, it’s all true: Sheryl Cwele, wife of State Security Minister, Siyabonga Cwele, who was convicted last week of international drug trafficking, will keep her job as director of health and community services at the Hibuscus Coast Municipality.
No, you’re not absolutely insane. This woman really is keeping her job. She is the same person who was sentenced last Thursday to a term of twelve years in prison for smuggling drugs.
Hibuscus Coast Municipality spokesman, Simon Sobhoyisa said yesterday:
We cannot act on emotion and at this stage she is expected to appeal. We have a temp to fill in for her in the interim.
He then went on to say that only once an appeal has been lodged will the department be more vocal on the matter:
It is still a very sensitive issue, but we are making decisions internally at this stage.
It’s like I’m on crazy pills or something.
This isn’t the first time this woman has been found to be corrupt, if you can call being the head of an international drug ring corrupt. In April 2005 results of a forensic investigation into alleged fraud and corruption in the municipality, conducted by the Traditional and Local Government Affairs Department were released. Guess what, Cwele applied for her job after the closing date of November 8, 2002. She had no supporting documents, nothing in her application was certified and her application form wasn’t even completed.
This shining beacon of South African politics has twice had her contract renewed, despite the fact that she didn’t meet the department’s competency profiles nor the minimum competency levels specified in the Municipal Finance Management Act regulations, required for officials at her level of seniority.
And what will be done here? Well, nothing apparently. This situation is beyond insane.
Let’s briefly recap. She’s been found guilty of:
But both she and her husband keep their jobs. Meanwhile the country ticks merrily on to a provincial election where people like this will still be in office after it’s over. Luckily I’ve decided to start sniffing glue, so this won’t be my problem for much longer.
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