THE State Security Department declined to comment yesterday on the drug charges against Minister Siyabonga Cwele's wife Sheryl Cwele.
"We wish to advise that the matter is before the courts and that the accused be accorded her rights to dignity and a fair trial which must be respected," said spokesperson Brian Dube.
Sheryl Cwele denied being involved in drug trafficking in her bail application papers filed in the Pietermaritzburg high court on Tuesday.
"I wish to categorically state that I never knowingly participated in any drug trafficking, conspiracy or incitement to deal in drugs as set out in the indictment or at all," she stated.
Cwele and Frank Nabolis, a Nigerian national arrested last month, face three charges - dealing or conspiring to deal in drugs; arranging for a woman called Charmaine Moss to collect drugs in Turkey; and arranging for another woman, Tessa Beetge, to smuggle 9kg of cocaine from South America.
Brazilian police arrested Beetge, now jailed for eight years, in Sao Paulo in 2008.
Cwele is a director of health at the Hibiscus Coast Municipality. Her bail hearing is set for today.
Dube said he could not confirm or deny a Sowetan report that the Cweles have been estranged for some time. - Sapa