Reinstated Tshwane mayor’s rehabilitation notice fraudulent

Tshwane Mayor Murunwa Makwarela seemingly submitted a fraudulent notice of rehabilitation after he was disqualified as a PR councillor earlier this week.

The matter has been referred to the Director for Priority Crimes Investigations for further investigation. In essence, Makwarela has inadvertently caused harm to himself by his actions.

The fabricated notice was purportedly submitted to appeal his disqualification and to have him reinstated as mayor. But Chief Registrar Tumelo Ledwaba has confirmed that it was not issued by the High Court in Pretoria.

“I Tumelo Refilwe Ledwaba, the Chief Registrar of the High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Division Pretoria, hereby confirm that the document purporting to be an order issued by this Court was never issued in our court.

“I also confirm that no rehabilitation order has ever been issued regarding the parties named in the said document.

“I am referring this matter to the Office of the Director for Priority Crimes Investigations for their and the institution of criminal proceedings,” said Ledwaba.

The multiparty coalition in Tshwane also laid a criminal case against Makwarela at the Brooklyn Police Station in Pretoria on Friday morning. “The charges relate to allegations that Dr Makwarela knowingly supplied falsified and fraudulent documentation to the City of Tshwane,” said the coalition in a statement.

The mayor did not respond to calls for comment at the time of publishing.

Chief Registrar Tumelo Ledwaba has confirmed that the mayor’s rehabilitation letter was not issued by the High Court in Pretoria.

Makwarela’s certificate sparked controversy after it was compared to other notices of rehabilitation.

The City of Tshwane spokesperson Selby Bokaba on Friday morning confirmed that the city has referred the matter to legal services for further investigation.

“The City Manager, Mr Johann Mettler, has requested Legal Services to investigate certain aspects of the rehabilitation notice that was presented to him by Councillor Murunwa Makwarela yesterday.

“This was done as a consequence of various issues that were brought to his attention during the course of yesterday,” Bokaba said.

Makwarela, who ascended to the mayorship last week on the ticket of the ANC and EFF collaboration efforts, was on Tuesday disqualified as a PR councillor due to insolvency.

It was revealed that he was declared insolvent by a court of law in 2016 and was consequently disqualified from holding public office.

It was reported last week that Makwarela was in a financial mess and therefore unsuitable, by law, to even become a councillor.

In his defence, Makwarela told the media that he was still awaiting his “rehabilitated insolvent” certificate.

He was disqualified in terms of section 47(1)(c) of the constitution, which stipulates that people who are “unrehabilitated insolvents” cannot hold public office.

On Thursday morning, Mattler received Makwarela’s notice of insolvency and informed the IEC to “immediately” withdraw the declaration of a vacancy for the COPE councillor and Makwarela was subsequently reinstated as mayor.

“The IEC has confirmed receipt of a letter from the city manager for the withdrawal of the vacancy declaration and has undertaken to process it accordingly, as they are still within the 21-day time limit.

“Accordingly, all the benefits and perks accorded to Dr Makwarela as executive mayor of the City of Tshwane have forthwith been reinstated.

“On Tuesday, the city manager wrote to the Gauteng provincial electoral officer informing him of a casual vacancy which had occurred in the city following the disqualification of the COPE PR councillor, Dr Makwarela,” Bokaba said at the time.

Notice of Rehabilitation submitted by the mayor.

Makwarela’s mayorship is a blow to the DA-led coalition that sought to oust him and replace him with its own candidate, former DA MP Cilliers Brink.

The DA teamed up with ActionSA, Freedom Front Plus, IFP, and the African Christian Democratic Party.

The Makwarela incident marks another chapter in the persistent political instability in several metros across the country because of unworkable coalition arrangements.

The status quo would be worrying, especially given the possibility that the ANC might not win a majority vote in the 2024 general elections, which may for the first time force a coalition in national government.

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