Tshwane still probing reinstated mayor Makwarela’s case

Despite Tshwane Mayor Murunwa Makwarela’s demonstration of his recovery from insolvency, the city remains cautious.

Selby Bokaba, spokesperson for the City of Tshwane, confirmed on Friday that the City Manager, Johann Mettler, has referred the mayor’s notice of rehabilitation letter 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, 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.

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 the national government.

Also read: Murunwa Makwarela reinstated as mayor of unstable Tshwane

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