Johannesburg: In a surprising exposure of smuggling case, Sheryl Cwele, the wife of South Africa's intelligence minister on Friday was convicted for drug trafficking and for using young women as mules to smuggle cocaine into the country.

Cwele, who is married to state security minister Siyabonga Cwele, was convicted along with Nigerian Frank Nabolisa in the High Court in the eastern city of Pietermaritzburg.

The verdict had originally been expected on Thursday but was delayed after prosecutors tried to introduce new evidence.

Cwele was arrested in January 2010 and has been out on bail. Sentencing was set for tomorrow.

Judge Piet Koen said that Cwele and Nabolisa had clearly worked together to recruit two women as drug mules, according to a news agency.

Allegations of Cwele's drug trafficking came in light in  year 2009 after the arrest of Tessa Beetge, a South African woman caught in Brazil with 10 kilos of cocaine worth almost USD 300,000.

(Agencies)