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Drug trafficker sues for privileges

Convicted drug trafficker Frank Nabolisa has filed an application against the minister of correctional services in the High Court in Johannesburg for certain prisoner privileges, according to a report. File photo: Shan Pillay

Convicted drug trafficker Frank Nabolisa has filed an application against the minister of correctional services in the High Court in Johannesburg for certain prisoner privileges, according to a report. File photo: Shan Pillay

Published May 22, 2013

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Johannesburg - Convicted drug trafficker Frank Nabolisa has filed an application against the minister of correctional services in the High Court in Johannesburg for certain prisoner privileges, The New Age reported on Wednesday.

Nabolisa wanted his right to education and to be classified as a Group A prisoner, which meant he could get his own computer and other preferential treatment, the newspaper reported.

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Nabolisa was initially sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment along with his accomplice Sheryl Cwele, the ex-wife of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele.

When they appealed their conviction and sentence, the Supreme Court of Appeals (SCA) in Bloemfontein increased the sentence to 20 years.

Nabolisa challenged the SCA decision in the Constitutional Court. The court reserved judgment in the case on March 7.

His lawyer, Godfrey Ezenwa, told The New Age the decision to take the minister to court was made after numerous attempts to convince prison officials.

He said Nabolisa was initially in Group A, but was later changed to B without certification.

Department spokesman Logan Maistry told the newspaper it was unnecessary for Nabolisa to approach the court.

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“The inmate went to court before trying to use other available channels in the department. As the minister said, we encourage inmates to study and come out of prison empowered.”

He said Nabolisa’s status was changed after his sentence was increased on appeal. - Sapa

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