Tributes pour in for ex-Tshwane mayor Dr Murunwa Makwarela

Former Tshwane mayor and council speaker Dr Murunwa Makwarela has died. File

Former Tshwane mayor and council speaker Dr Murunwa Makwarela has died. File

Published Apr 23, 2024


TRIBUTES continued to pour in yesterday following the sudden death of controversial former City of Tshwane mayor and council speaker Dr Murunwa Makwarela. He died on Tuesday morning.

Family spokesperson Reverend Adel Dube confirmed that Makwarela, 52, took his last breath at a hospital in the early hours of yesterday.

“He passed on after a short illness. He went into the hospital just before midnight and in the early hours of the morning (yesterday), he was declared dead. This is taking a huge toll on his family,” he said.

Makwarela is survived by his wife and two daughters.

He was elected mayor in February 2023 and resigned after it came to light that he had failed to disclose his insolvency status before he became a councillor.

Before his death, he was facing charges of fraud and uttering in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria.

The charges related to his submission of a fake insolvency rehabilitation certificate to the city, including pocketing more than R1.4 million in salaries paid to him while employed as speaker and councillor.

Incumbent council speaker Mncedi Ndzwanana said: “It is a sad day for us because we have lost an important person, the former speaker, the former mayor and the councillor of Tshwane, Dr Makwarela. He lost his life this morning (yesterday). It is a sad day for the city; it is a sad day for the office of the speaker as well because he is my predecessor. I took over from him. And I continue from where he left. I would like to say to the family and the residents of Tshwane, condolences.”

Ndzwanana urged people to celebrate his life and “forget about the negative energy that came around him while he was still alive”.

Tshwane mayor Cilliers Brink said: “I am saddened to learn of the passing of the former executive mayor of the City of Tshwane, Dr Murunwa Makwarela. Dr Makwarela served as executive mayor during a tumultuous period in the city’s politics in March 2023. Prior to his election as mayor, he served as the speaker.”

Regional EFF leader Obakeng Ramabodu said: “Former City of Tshwane mayor Dr Makwarela has, sadly, passed on. May his soul rest in peace. Condolences to the family and friends.”

His ascension to the mayoral position on February 28 came as a result of the EFF and ANC support, resulting in him winning against Brink.

He was subsequently disqualified as a councillor by city manager Johann Mettler after it surfaced that in 2016 the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, had declared him insolvent.

Days after his disqualification, he submitted a certificate of solvency rehabilitation to Mettler, but it turned out to be a fraudulent certificate.

Makwarela was also a founder of a church, The Righteousness of God, in Wallmansthal.

On Monday, he posted Bible verses on his Facebook page, under the title “Our citizenship is in heaven”.

“My citizenship is in heaven. Christ in me is the hope of glory. As He is and so am I in this world, in Jesus' Name. Amen,” he said in conclusion.

Pretoria News

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