Makwarela due in court after handing himself over to police

Former Tshwane mayor Murunwa Makwarela is due at the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court after he handed himself over to the police on Monday morning.

Makwarela, faces charges of fraud related to a forged insolvency rehabilitation certificate he submitted to the City of Tshwane in an attempt to stay on as mayor early in March.

The multi-party coalition in Tshwane laid charges of fraud after the certificate was confirmed to be fake, resulting in Makwarela resigning from the mayoral position.

In March, a high court in Gauteng confirmed that the rehabilitation certificate Makwarela submitted to the municipality’s city manager was actually fake.

He was declared insolvent by a court of law in 2016 and was concomitantly disqualified from holding public office. He was also disqualified as a councillor in terms of section 47(1)(c) of the constitution, which stipulates that people who are “unrehabilitated insolvents” cannot hold public office.

Makwarela resigned after a chaotic campaign in which he maintained his innocence despite the allegations. This after he had ascended to the mayorship on the ticket of the ANC and EFF collaboration after former mayor Randall Williams stepped down in February.

In the contest for the mayoral chain, Makwarela came up against DA MP Cilliers Brink, who was chosen by the multi-party coalition government to take over from Williams.

Out of 213 votes cast during a special council sitting, 112 voted in favour of Makwarela while 101 wanted Brink to wear the mayoral chain. 

Makwarela’s appointment came as shock after he had declared earlier that he would support Brink when the coalition government accused him of eyeing the top job.

Last week, Brink finally succeeded in his bid to become the mayor of the City of Tshwane after three unsuccessful attempts.

In a closely contested race, Brink, representing the DA, was up against Ofentse Moalusi, a councillor from the Congress of the People and a preferred candidate of the ANC and EFF.

Following the vote, which saw a total of 211 ballots cast, Brink emerged victorious with 109 councillors supporting his bid while Moalusi received 102 votes.

Brink’s appointment dealt a significant blow to the ANC and EFF alliance, which has been striving to oust the DA from power in metros across Gauteng.

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