Tessa Beetge back home in SA. Photo: Twitter


Durban - The drug mule who was released from a Brazilian prison last month has come home to a family feud between her father and her aunt.

Tessa Beetge’s father, Gert “Swannie” Swanepoel, lashed out at his former sister-in-law, Margie Olsen, for criticising Beetge for avoiding her welcoming party and the media on arrival at O R Tambo Airport, Joburg. Swanepoel said that contrary to reports, Beetge had seen her children.

“We saw them the other day. We had a very good time with them,” said Swanepoel.

He said the feud with his ex-sister-in-law went back several years.

Olsen took over as the official contact between South African consular authorities and Beetge’s family after her sister, Marie Swanepoel – Beetge’s mother – died last year. The Swanepoels were divorced just before that and Marie went to join Olsen and her elderly parents in the Eastern Cape town of Steynsville, which was also where Marie was buried.

Swanepoel did not wish to comment further to The Independent on Saturday and would not give the phone to his daughter who, he confirmed, had answered the call. She appeared to have a slight Portuguese accent.

Beetge spent more than five years in Sao Paulo’s Penitenciária Feminina da Capital prison where there are a number of South Africans incarcerated for drug smuggling.

She was sentenced to nearly eight years in jail.

She was recruited on the South Coast by Sheryl Cwele who, along with Nigerian Frank Nabolisa, is now serving a 12-year sentence. She is the former wife of Safety and Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele.