Wife of South African state minister gets 12 years for drug dealing From Nkepile Mabuse, CNN May 6, 2011 8:17 a.m. EDT Cheryl Cwele (pictured in 2010) is married to Siyabonga Cwele, the South African minister of state security. STORY HIGHLIGHTS NEW: Opposition parties call for the minister's resignation Cheryl Cwele is married to Siyabonga Cwele She is sentenced together with an accomplice RELATED TOPICS South Africa Johannesburg (CNN) -- The wife of the South African state security minister was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison for drug dealing that included hiring smugglers, authorities said. Cheryl Cwele was convicted after one of the women testified against her. Charmaine Moss, who testified against her, said Cwele asked them to pick up a parcel in Turkey, but she turned her down. Prosecutors relied on the woman's testimony, text messages and e-mails to prove their case, said Natasha Ramkisson, a spokeswoman for the national prosecuting authority. Moss told the court that Cwele offered them more than $3,500. Another woman agreed to pick up the package, and was arrested in Brazil, where she is now serving an eight-year sentence for drug trafficking, Ramkisson said. Cwele was convicted Thursday together with a Nigerian accomplice. She had pleaded not guilty. Opposition parties called on minister Siyabonga Cwele to resign following his wife's sentencing. The minister is a member of the ruling African National Congress. "This entire episode is an embarrassing blow to the reputation of South Africa and its government," said Phillip Dexter of the Congress of the People, which broke away from the ruling party. Presidential spokesman Zizi Kodwa declined to comment.