THE government has thrown a shroud of silence on Friday's arrest of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele's wife Sheryl on charges of drug-dealing.
An insider told Sowetan yesterday that the Hawks, who arrested Cwele, had "gone to ground" to give the government time to "come up with a way to distance the minister from his wife".
But Cope spokesperson Phillip Dexter called the government's silence "shocking".
"Cwele might have used her husband's position to gather intelligence to cover up her nefarious activities. State security has been compromised, and we expect (President Jacob) Zuma and the cabinet to show some leadership and fire the minister, not to keep silent," Dexter said.
The Hawks arrested Cwele in her office on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal on Friday, charging her with "dealing in drugs or conspiracy to deal in drugs with Frank Nabolis", who is also allegedly involved in a drug-manufacturing factory in Westonaria on the West Rand in Gauteng.
Cwele, the director for community services in the Hibiscus municipality, spent the weekend in jail after the Pietermaritzburg high court denied her permission to apply for bail.
Hawks spokesperson Musa Zondi told the media that Nabolis reportedly worked with Cwele in a syndicate, using young women as drug mules to allegedly smuggle cocaine from Brazil to South Africa.
The allegations against Cwele surfaced almost a year ago after South African Tessa Beetge was arrested in Brazil for attempting to smuggle a 9kg block of cocaine worth R3million to South Africa.
Beetge is now serving eight years in a Brazilian prison.
Cwele will appear in court again on Friday for a bail hearing.