Murunwa Makwarela out on R10 000 bail for fraud charges

Former Tshwane mayor Murunwa Makwarela is out on R10 000 bail after he pleaded not guilty to fraud charges at the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.

Makwarela appeared in court after he handed himself over to the Brooklyn police station on Monday morning.

The fraud charges that he is facing are as a result of him allegedly submitting a fake insolvency rehabilitation certificate to the City of Tshwane in March in an attempt to hold on to the mayoral position.

Lumka Mahanjana, National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson, said Makwarela was granted bail because he is not a flight risk, however, Mahanjana said the charges are serious.

Hawks spokesperson Katlego Mogale said investigations into the matter are continuing.

Makwarela 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.

Since Makwarela stepped down early in March, the city has been without a mayor until last week when Cilliers Brink finally succeeded in his bid to become mayor after three unsuccessful attempts.

In a closely contested race Brink, representing the DA, came 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.

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