KwaZulu-Natal - During the last hours of her freedom, convicted drug dealer Sheryl Cwele has turned to God.
On Tuesday Cwele called her pastor, Reggie John, to pray for her at her home in Port Shepstone, on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, where she lives with her three-year-old adopted daughter and mother.
John arrived at Cwele’s home just after 11am and after counselling her for a short while, prayed for her.
Cwele, the former wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, had her 12-year sentence for drug conviction increased to 20 years by the Supreme Court of Appeal on Monday.
At her home in a quiet street in Port Shepstone, not too far from the city centre, Cwele was yesterday coming to terms with her looming incarceration. She refused to speak to the Daily News, but allowed her pastor of eight months to talk on her behalf.
John said he had come to know Cwele well since she joined his Cairos Ministries Church earlier this year.
“When she joined our congregation, we told her that we were not here to judge her and we promised her we were willing to stand with her as a church. We told her that she had our support and if she did the crime she should ask for leniency,” John said.
“Sheryl told us very clearly that she was being charged unjustly for things she did not do. She has never tried to evade justice and all she asked for was a just decision. ‘I am being politically punished for some things that I did not do’ has been her response throughout,” he said.
John said Cwele took the Supreme Court of Appeal judgment very badly.
After crying on Monday night, John said Cwele was making peace with the judgment.
“The fact is that Sheryl is very concerned about what is going to happen next as she has adopted a little child from the age of nine months and the child is now three years old.
John said Cwele was now relying on her faith to get her through. He said she had not yet been told when she had to report to prison.